A former treasurer for a Northamptonshire community centre has been ordered to pay back less than 10 per cent of more £13,000 she stole after she wrote out dozens of cheques to herself.
Wendy Roberts, aged 54, of Cook’s Way, Long Buckby, appeared at Northampton Crown Court after she pleaded guilty to stealing a total of £13,753 by writing 25 cheques to herself over a two-year period.
Ben Gow, prosecuting, said, as treasurer of Long Buckby Community Centre, Roberts was one of the signatories for cheques and took advantage of her position to pay cheques, ranging in amounts from £375 to £850, into her own bank account during the period from December 2010 to December 2012.
The court heard that Roberts had used the money to pay off debts she owed but was “too embarrassed” to tell anyone about.
Mr Gow said her theft was uncovered after a new treasurer took over in August 2013 and had a look at the books.
His Honour Judge Timothy Smith sentenced Roberts to eight months in prison, suspended for a year. Roberts must also complete 200 hours unpaid work.
Judge Smith ordered that Roberts pay back £1,200 at a rate of £100, which he acknowledged was a “small dent” in what she owed the community centre.
Judge Smith said: “This order does not prevent the community centre from getting the full amount back from you.”