A TRUSTED treasurer has been exposed as an £11,999 fraudster after stealing from a charity-funded children’s nursery.
Married Louise Precious, 39, admitted being in a position of trust when she stole cash in £300 and £400 amounts from Market Weighton Pre-school for the benefit of her and her husband.
Mrs Precious, who now works at a call centre, pleaded guilty to a charge of fraud between 1 April 2009 and 1 June 2010 taking almost £12,000 from the pre-school group which has charitable status, when she appeared at Hull Crown Court on Friday with her husband.
Car parts manager Robert Precious, 40, of Aspen Close, Market Weighton, pleaded guilty to a charge of converting criminal property by allowing £5,055 to be paid into his HSBC bank account, knowing it was the proceeds of crime.
The court heard Louise Precious, who had a role as a deputy supervisor, had begun stealing sums of cash from the pre-school siphoning it off into her own accounts while being responsible for paying bills for the school.
She was sacked for gross misconduct last July. The school, which is registered with Ofsted, has been established 25 years and relies heavily on fundraising to cover its costs.
Crown barrister Edward Bindloss said the money went missing in amounts of £500, £400 and £300. He said at the time the couple were struggling with their finances and struggling to pay the rent.
Defence barrister Bernard Gateshill said some of the £11,999 alleged taken may well have been used to pay for items for the school as part of her volunteer treasurer’s role. He said not all of it had gone in to her pocket.
Defending Robert Precious, barrister Steven Garth said although he accepted £5,055 was paid in to his account he did not realise immediately it was stolen. He said the payments were made over a period of time and did not seem odd at first.
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Judge Jeremy Richardson, QC, ordered them both to stand as he told them: “It is a tragedy that you two have appeared in the dock of a crown court. It is only right that you should have full mitigation before the court. I am going to adjourn for a pre-sentence report for that purpose.
“This is a serious matter. It is plainly a very bad breach of trust case. I do not know at this stage what sentence I am likely to impose, but you must know that all sentencing options are open to the court including imprisonment. I keep an open mind, but you must both understand that prison is an option.”
He adjourned sentence to Hull Crown Court on 21 October. Both were allowed to walk free on bail, but not before seeing a Humberside Probation Officer.