THE former treasurer of a Sheffield children’s charity, who was jailed after she stole £58,000 from its coffers, has been ordered to pay back £51,000 to the centre.
Kathleen Robinson, aged 53, of Bellhouse Road, Shiregreen, was jailed for 20 months after she admitted stealing the cash from Ellesmere Children’s Centre in Burngreave between 2005 and 2010.
The centre, on Maxell Street, was set up in 1996 and provides pre-school services for local children with complex needs from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Now Robinson has been taken back to court by South Yorkshire Police who applied to seize her assets.
The court found she had benefited from her crimes to the tune of £58,384 but had recoverable assets only of £51,071. The money will go back to the children’s centre as compensation.
Judge Roger Keen said she must pay the money within six months or face a further 21 months in jail.
South Yorkshire Police said the force was determined she wouldn’t benefit from her actions, which were picked up during an internal audit.
Gemma Childs, a financial investigator for the force’s Economic Crime Unit, said: “The force uses powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act to pursue compensation for victims and ensure that criminals don’t profit.
“In this case, we’re pleased to have been able to help recover money for the centre.”
Ellesmere Children’s Centre is a 50-place children’s nursery, which operates for 50 weeks a year.
Children are aged between six months and five years, and youngsters up to eight years attend a summer play scheme.
A spokesman for Ellesmere Children’s Centre said: “The management committee is delighted at the court’s decision and believes justice has been done in this case.
“The whole episode has been extremely difficult, upsetting and trying for everyone at the children’s centre and we now look forward to being able to move on and concentrate on delivering the first-class childcare services we are committed to providing.”