School Secretary Jailed for Stealing £25,000 from School Accounts to Fund a £500-a-week Cocaine Habit

A secretary at Ysgol Gymraeg Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen Primary School in Neath Port Talbot, South Wales was jailed for eight months at Swansea Crown Court at a hearing last month, after stealing £25,000 from school funds. In January 2018, accounting 'irregularities' were discovered and Nia O’Sullivan (39) was suspended.

O'Sullivan was responsible for paying bills for school trips as well as collecting money from ticket sales from school concerts and purchasing stationery and equipment.

Her solicitor, James Hartson, told the court that she admitted the majority of money stolen from her employer was used to support a £500-a-week cocaine habit. O'Sullivan originally turned to cocaine after developing post-natal depression. To hide her embezzlement, she would move money between the two accounts she operated to hide the missing sums and also forged the signatures of the school's head teacher and deputy head on cheques made payable to herself.

On hearing that she had no remaining assets, Judge Paul Thomas ordered O'Sullivan to pay a nominal £1 fee at the conclusion of the five-minute hearing.

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