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Former treasurer of Engaines PTA admits fraudulently taking up to £5k from Clacton school group

PUBLISHED: 16:14 17 July 2017 | UPDATED: 16:14 17 July 2017

Engaines Primary School. Picture: ARCHANT

Engaines Primary School. Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

The treasurer of a north Essex primary school PTA who stole up to £5,000 from the group’s funds, will be sentenced next month.

Donna Curtis, of Harwich Road, Little Clacton, was appointed treasurer of the Friends of Engaines Primary School in St Osyth Road on February 3, 2012.

Curtis, 41, was arrested on June 4, 2014, after it was discovered up to £5,000 was missing from the fund, Chelmsford Crown Court heard today.

Her trial had been due to begin today but at the last minute she changed her plea to guilty as a revised charge of fraud by abuse of position was put.

Originally the amount involved was said to be £12,523, but at today’s hearing prosecution and defence both accepted that, although it was difficult to say exactly how much money was taken, it was “up to £5,000”.

Curtis pleaded guilty in that she did not account for all monies received by the Friends of Engaines Primary School and did not pay all designated monies into the bank account between February 2, 2012, and June 4, 2014.

However, details of what she had done were not given at today’s hearing.

Judge David Turner QC remanded Curtis on bail for a pre-sentence report to be prepared.

She will return to court on August 25 to be sentenced.

As he adjourned the case the judge told Curtis : “You sensibly have, a little late in the day, admitted guilt.”

Potential prosecution witnesses were present in court to hear the change of plea, including school headteacher Jackie Irwin.

Police seized £2,200 from Curtis when she was arrested. It is expected that an application for compensation will be made.

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