Leeds woman stole £1,500 school dinner money

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A MUM stole more than £1,500 of dinner money while working at a Leeds primary school, a court heard.

Kellie Holroyd, 32, pocketed the cash while working as a dinner money collector at St Francis of Assisi Catholic School in Beeston.

Leeds Crown Court heard Holroyd, of Barkly Place, Beeston, was employed by the school in 2008 and her duties involved calculating and banking dinner money collected from pupils.

Class teachers would collect the cash from youngsters and it would be kept in envelopes in an office for her to deal with.

Holroyd would then register the amount paid by every child and enter weekly takings into a school dinner money schedule.

She then completed a weekly paying in voucher to be signed by the head teacher and the cash was kept in a safe before being banked. In September 2009 it was noticed that the amounts being banked different from the amounts being recorded.

Her offending came to light in December 2009 when a spot check was carried out and she was asked to explain the shortfall. Holroyd said her partner was waiting for her outside and she had to leave but would explain the situation the next day.

Simon Batiste, prosecuting, said Holroyd never returned to the school after signing herself off sick. Education Leeds were informed and it was discovered there was a total shortfall of £1,840.

Holroyd was arrested in March 2010 and claimed she had been struggling cope with the role and had just got the figures wrong. She later pleaded guilty to fraud.

Nicholas De La Pour, mitigating, said Holroyd was a single mum who had financial struggles at the time and was appalled by her actions.

Judge Geoffrey Marson described her actions as a serious breach of trust. She was given a 12 month community order, 200 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay £400 compensation.