School worker stole charity cash to pay off son's drug debt

Caroline Hannigan admitted taking the money raised to give it to dealers. Credit: Wales News Service

A primary school worker stole money from a school charity fund to pay off her son's drug dealer, a disciplinary hearing in Cardiff has been told.

56-year-old teaching assistant Caroline Hannigan admitted taking the money raised for the British Heart Foundation to give it to dealers.

Mrs Hannigan raised £287 by organising a cross country race for the heart charity.

A disciplinary panel heard Mrs Hannigan intended to bank the cash - but when she got home she found her son being threatened by drug dealers.

The mum-of-three used the charity money to pay off the cash debt he owed them.

Mrs Hannigan worked at Glanhowy Primary School for 23 years. Credit: Wales News Service

The hearing was told Mrs Hannigan hoped to repay the money before it was discovered it was missing by organising another charity event at Glanhowy Primary School in Tredegar, Gwent,

A misconduct panel heard Mrs Hannigan - who had worked in the school for 23 years - was investigated over the theft in February 2015.

She was interviewed by police and taken to court where she was handed a conditional discharge.

Mrs Hannigan admits taking the money and using it to pay the dealers and had admitted unacceptable professional conduct.

A disciplinary panel must now decide whether to striker Mrs Hannigan from the teaching register.

The Education Workforce Council hearing, scheduled to last two days, in Cardiff continues.