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Treasurer told to pay back money

A TREASURER who stole money from the canine training society, escaped prison after spending a month in custody.

Over a six month period, Samantha Cuthbertson stole nearly £2,500 as she fiddled the accounts by taking money or writing cheques in her name.

Appearing at Newcastle Crown Court in June, the 36-year-old woman, from Shiremoor, pleaded guilty to eight counts of theft and three of obtaining money by deception.

The court was told that in 2002, Cuthbertson was appointed treasurer of the North British Canine Training Society, with one of her main tasks being the paying of bills and controlling the society’s cheque book.

But Mr Ian Graham, prosecuting, said between July and December that year, Cuthbertson stole cash and wrote cheques out to herself, even though another member’s signature was needed on the cheques.

He added: “The matter came to light when she presented the accounts of 2003 to the AGM and it was quite clear they were not the proper accounts.

Sentencing Cuthbertson to a 12-month conditional discharge. Judge Beatrice Bolton warned her she would have been facing a prison sentence had she not been remanded in custody for four weeks.

Judge Bolton also ordered Cuthbertson to pay back the £2,440 she stole.

“It must be paid immediately. Get it off your back then you can start with a clean slate and a fresh start.

“Next time you do it, it will be a custodial sentence, in years,” Cuthbertson was told