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School governor admits stealing children's dinner money

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Some people never have enough money and they turn to crime to support themselves, but that’s not the case with Kathryn Braidford. She’s the wife of a successful financial advisor who lives in a £650,000 detached property. Until recently, she was considered a pillar of the community and a well-respected governor at a primary school, but that changed when the children’s dinner money started to go missing.

Braidford used her position as a parent-governor at Breck Primary School in Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire to steal cash £170 from the headmistress’s lottery syndicate fund. Losing her standing in the community through public humiliation could have been avoided as the sum was so low but it turns out to the horror of her husband and children that the 46-year-old mother-of-three also stole £3,400.

The theft of such a large sum wasn’t a once in a while whim, it was perpetrated through a series of calculated deceptions. She used to work for three days a week in the school office where she was entrusted with duties like banking cheques and cash given to the school for trips, social events, school dinners and out-of-hours clubs. One of her duties was to bank the funds each week.

When money started to go missing, it was noticed but no one suspected her. After weeks of speculation as to who was the theft, the headmistress installed security cameras on which she caught the once respected governor taking a bag of cash that was never banked.

In court she admitted to seven counts of theft. The court heard how the school was torn apart by the theft as both staff and pupils were accused of taking the money until a CCTV system was secretly installed to catch the perpetrator.

The most pathetic part has to be Braidford’s excuse. She needed the money to go shopping.

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