Woman stole children's dinner money to 'fund holidays'

Jacqueline Robb stole children's £11-a-week dinner money over a four-year period Credit: MEN Media

A finance manager who stole almost £50,000 of dinner money has been ordered to give it back to the school where she worked.

Jacqueline Robb stole children's £11-a-week dinner money over a four-year period from Varna Community Primary School in Openshaw.

Robb, 54, was jailed for 10 months in prison for fraud in July, but has now been released. She has now appeared before a judge at Manchester Crown Court again for a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing.

Prosecuting, Duncan Wilcox said police investigators had found Robb had stolen £47,718.52.

The court previously heard that Robb, who earned more than £30,000 a year, used the extra cash to fund her over-spending lifestyle, including foreign holidays.

Judge Martin Steiger QC has ordered that cash available to Robb must be paid as compensation to the school which has more than 450 pupils.

Investigators found she has £30,395.85 available to compensate victims. It is understood it will come from equity in her home, although it’s not known whether she will have to sell or remortgage the property.

If the money is not paid within three months, Robb could serve another 15 months in prison.

The court previously heard that school bosses were ‘shocked’ and ‘devastated’ after learning of the betrayal of trust.

Robb, of Laburnum Avenue, Openshaw, had worked at the school from 1999, and was promoted a decade later to finance manager in 2009.

Her husband also worked at Varna primary, but resigned following the proceedings against his wife out of ‘respect’ to the school.

The fraud was uncovered during a routine audit in December last year, which revealed a black hole in school finances and found Robb had ‘misappropriated’ the money.

Police accessed her bank account and found tens of thousands of pounds of unexplained cash.

Robb’s barrister Steven Sullivan previously said she had banked some of the money and kept some of it.

He said:

After the sentencing hearing a spokesperson for Varna Community Primary School said: