Jail for school bursar who stole £100k

A former bursar from Clitheroe has been jailed for two years and five months after admitting she stole around £100,000 from a primary school.

Ashworth was sentenced this morning (Tuesday)
Ashworth was sentenced this morning (Tuesday)

Susan Margaret Ashworth (57), from Dorset Drive, stole the money from her employers Baxenden St John’s CE Primary School between January 2011 and August 2016.

She was sentenced at Preston Crown Court this morning (Tuesday). A court spokesman confirmed she received a prison sentence of two years and five months for theft and two years and five months to run concurrently for concealing or disguising criminal property.

She previously admitted charges of theft by an employee and a money laundering offence, but the case had suffered delays due to disagreements about the sums of money alleged to have been stolen.

Ashworth is said to have withdrawn cash and also paid sums into her own bank account.

Speaking after the sentencing, Det. Cons. Robin Costigan, of Lancashire Police, said: “This case involved a serious breach of trust by Susan Ashworth who, as the Bursar, was in a position of financial control within Baxenden St John’s CE Primary School.

“This large scale theft which took place over a number of years has adversely affected the pupils and the staff and has also caused reputational damage to the school within the local community.

“Lancashire Constabulary will continue to bring to justice those who seek to profit from fraud and financial crime.”