Preston school bursar jailed over £30k theft shame

A mum sobbed as she was caged for 20 months after stealing more than £30,000 from a Preston school.

Thursday, 8th December 2016, 1:16 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 1:39 pm
Sara Jacques

Sara Jacques, 46, of Green Drive, Fulwood, Preston, had been the respected bursar at St Pius X preparatory school, on Garstang Road, for nine years.

But around 2011 she started to steal from school funds as she became entrenched in credit card debts, Preston Crown Court heard.

Prosecuting, Peter Barr revealed she began to pay herself extra cash into her salary, disguised as "arrears" and "holiday pay".

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She had deleted invoices to avoid arousing suspicion.

But her web of deceit was broken when a co-worker - who she managed - began to raise concerns about payments going missing or being unaccounted for.

Jacques, who has since been employed by Booths, admitted four counts of theft and two of making false representations.

Justice William Davis said: " It was successive stealing and involved a lot of thought and planning.

"Then when you were discovered you didn't admit this is what had happened or hold your hands up, you began to prevaricate and blame others.

"It was a charitable institution, a school that was all the more dependent on the trust of those work for them."

He told her he could not suspend her sentence due to "a great breach of trust".

Defending, Nick Kennedy said Jacques had sold her family home to pay every single penny back.