A woman has been found guilty of stealing hundreds of pounds from an exclusive north-east country club where Princess Diana used to take Prince William and Prince Harry.
Tracey Finnie worked as a manager at the Hilton Grand Vacations Club at Craigendarroch in Ballater for around 20 years and had exclusive knowledge of how membership applications were processed.
And when three members paid in cash for an annual membership believing they were benefiting from an limited offer of two months for free she pocketed more than £800.
During an appearance in Aberdeen Sheriff Court yesterday Finnie claimed she had no explanation for where the money had gone.
She took cash payments from Robert Thomson, David Clark and Zuzana Torrance in February and March 2013.
Fiscal Depute Cheryl Clark asked if each of these people had made cash payments to Finnie.
She accepted they had.
Miss Clark then asked: “Why has Mr Thomson’s membership been logged in the system as a complimentary membership? Is this because you knew it wouldn’t appear on the system and you pocketed the cash.”
Finnie replied: “It was a new system. I didn’t know how it worked.”
The 47-year-old claimed she had handed over the sums of money to the staff on the afternoon shifts for them to take to the reception later.
Sheriff Malcolm Garden asked her: “Why haven’t those people been called here as witnesses to back up your claim that you handed over the money?”
Finnie replied: “They don’t work there anymore, and one has left the country.”
Sheriff Garden then found her guilty.
Defence agent John Boyle revealed the impact the conviction would have on his client.
He said: “My client now works as a manager in a care home working with people with Alzheimer’s.
“The job is subject to a disclosure form and the conviction will mean that she will lose her job and it will be hard for her to get another one.”
Sheriff Garden, in imposing a sentence, said: “The money involved here is a relatively modest sum.
“The issue for the court is the breach of trust.
“The court must also take into account the fact you had worked for the company for 20 years with an unblemished record and you have no previous convictions.”
Finnie, whose address was given as Adelaide Road, was fined £900.