Published: 00:01, 27 October 2012
| Updated: 15:03, 11 March 2020
An "extremely dishonest" school bursar who systematically
stole £212,000 over five years and spent it in various ways has
been jailed for three years.
Sandra Ross (pictured left) used £74,658 from funds at a school in Strood, to pay for care for her late
Thousands of pounds were transferred into her own account and
a deposit was put down on a £45,000 Mercedes car.
Judge Jeremy Carey told the 64-year-old grandmother: "The
bottom line is you were a thief. You were portrayed as an honest
person when the reality is you were nothing of the kind.
"You were extremely dishonest and behaved dishonourably to the
very people you were employed to protect.
"There was some greed and you need to come to terms with that,
because you didn’t need to take this money."
Ross, of Stone Croft, Meopham, admitted 23 fraud offences. She
has paid back £41,656 and Maidstone Crown Court heard she and her
husband had enough assets to repay the remainder of the money she
promoted to finance manager in April 2005.
"From the outset of that promotion she abused her position to
help herself to public funds over a period of five-and-a-half
years," said Edmund Burge, prosecuting.
"She was able to obtain such a large amount of money because
of the trust placed in her by the head teacher who had known her
for many years and, therefore, had no reason to suspect she was, in
fact, abusing that trust to enrich herself at the school's
Sandra Ross was a school
bursar at a primary school, in Strood.
Ross was exposed after Medway education finance department
noticed suspicious transactions in the school’s bank
When confronted in January last year, Ross admitted to head
teacher Jane Bright she had been using the school's money to pay
for her mother's residential care.
But it was not the full picture. She also used it for the
Mercedes, to pay council tax on a holiday home on the Isle of
Wight, furniture for her house and to refurbish her mother's Herne
Bay home after she went into care.
The judge made a compensation order for Ross to pay the
£171,000 owing to the school within six months or face a further
two-and-a-half years in jail in default.
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