A woman working for a domestic abuse charity has avoided jail after using its credit card to pay for personal hotel stays, train tickets and a mobile phone.
Claire Gillespie, who was employed by Ross-shire Women’s Aid, stole a total of £4,276.96 between March 16, 2017, and September 25, 2017.
Gillespie, of Fraser Road, Dingwall, admitted the theft when she appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court and had sentence deferred last month for repayment.
Sheriff Eilidh Macdonald was told yesterday that reimbursement had been made in full.
But first offender Gillespie was told she would still have to be punished for her crime.
Sheriff Macdonald said it was so serious that although Gillespie was a first offender, she could have been jailed.
However she decided to impose the alternative of unpaid work and Gillespie was ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid community work.
Fiscal depute Niall Macdonald previously told the court that Gillespie had worked for the charity, which supports vulnerable women who are victims of domestic abuse, for five years.
“She resigned in August 2017 and it was not until November 2017 that checks on the credit card statements revealed 97 unauthorised transactions.
“Three people were entrusted with the cards which were used to buy items the charity needed.
“The transactions included one for a mobile phone, iTunes, hotels, train tickets as well as to Tesco and the Co-op. There was also a payment for house rent.
“Police were made aware of the discrepancies and detained her.
“In her interview, she at first denied the offence but later accepted it was her.
“She said ‘I would like to try and pay it back’ when charged.” Mr Macdonald added.