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Woman admits stealing around £188,000 while working at Cumbrian school

Carlisle Crown Court

A WOMAN has admitted stealing around £188,000 while working at a Cumbrian school.

Ghislain Sharron Smithson, 52, is said to have been employed as a finance manager at Keswick School when she stole money during the course of around six years.

Smithson, of Sandybeck Way, Cockermouth, appeared at Carlisle Crown Court today (MON) in front of Judge Nicholas Barker.

During a short hearing, Smithson admitted one offence – the theft of “monies in the region of £188,000 belonging to Keswick School”. This is said to have been stolen between August 8, 2012, and June 27 of 2018.

The court heard she had put forward a written basis for the guilty plea she entered.

Prosecutor Gerard Rogerson told the court: “The Crown would say that the first matter occurred in 2012 but there was a gap until May, 2014, before other offences were committed.”

Smithson, a woman of previous good character, was granted unconditional bail and is due to be sentenced on Tuesday next week after the preparation of a background report by the probation service.

Adjourning the case, Judge Nicholas Barker told Smithson: “That gives you time to manage your affairs to prepare yourself for that sentencing hearing.

“You can’t draw any conclusions from the fact I am adjourning the sentence. That isn’t to pre-judge the sentence that I will pass on December 3, but simply that I will consider the sentence on that day once I am in possession of all of the material.”

It is said Smithson left the school in 2018.

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