A FORMER school secretary avoided jail after pleading guilty to stealing and defrauding more than €55,000.
Kathleen Wickham (43) was the former school secretary of the CBS Primary School in New Ross but has now pleaded guilty to more than 40 fraud offences.
Wickham, of Southknock, New Ross, Co Wexford, pleaded guilty to stealing from and defrauding the school of €55,834 on dates between March 18, 2003, and February 12, 2006. There were also 42 other fraud offences that occurred between August 5, 2004, and February 9, 2006, which she had pleaded guilty to at a previous sitting of the court.
None of the money was recovered, Judge Barry Hickson was told at Wexford Circuit Criminal Court.
She has repaid €14,400 since July 2008, the court heard.
Prosecuting Counsel, Philip Sheahan, said that the defendant had indicated that €35,000 in cash was available yesterday.
The total amount paid is some €6,000 shy of the amount owed, but the school is agreeable to the matter being concluded, the court heard.
Describing Wickham as a very lucky lady, Judge Hickson said he would affirm the two-year sentence previously imposed by Judge Michael White, suspended for five years on the defendant entering a bond of €500 to keep the peace for five years.