Woman avoids jail in breach of trust case

Courts
Courts

After organising fundraising events for Ceara School a woman ‘dipped into the money bit by bit’, Craigavon Court heard last Friday.

But the judge said while it was a breach of trust matter which normally attracted a custodial sentence this was a ‘wholly exceptional case’ and imposed probation.

Sandra Salt (50), Drumannon Park, Portadown, admitted that between November 22, 2014, and April 16, 2015, she stole cash to the value of £1,210.

She also pleaded guilty that between November 13, 2014, and April 17, 213, she dishonestly made false representation that she held charity events to make a gain for herself at a loss to Ceara school.

For each offence she was sentenced to six months on probation.

She was also ordered to pay £1,210 in compensation.

The case had been adjourned for a pre-sentence report.

The court heard that on November 22, 2014, Salt organised a fundraising event to buy her daughter a special trike.

The event, along with a coffee morning, was advertised and over £1,200 was raised.

Over the following months the school tried to contact Salt without success.

On April 16 this year the school principal contacted police and when they called with Salt she said the money was in the bank accruing interest.

Later she told police she had spent the money but would borrow it the next day and give it to the school but the school said they no longer wanted the money.

Salt admitted dipping into the money bit by bit but it was her intention to pay it back.

District Judge, Mr Mervyn Bates, said that Salt had instigated the event along with others to raise this money for her daughter and the school.

A defence barrister said she set out to meet her daughter’s needs and the rest of the money was to go to the school.

He added that she ‘took the matter on the chin’ when police came to her door and the next day she got the money which she gave to her brother to keep for her.

Salt took the money to the principal before Christmas but it was in coins and he told her to put it in a bank and give the school a cheque.

He also outlined family health difficulties she had to deal with.

District Judge, Mr Mervyn Bates,said this was a ‘wholly exceptional’ case because it was Salt who had instigated this to raise money for her daughter.

The judge imposed the community service order and compensation. He hoped the school would accept the money and use it for the students.