Police praise teachers after school thief is jailed

Kathryn Nethersole, 37, of Great Portway, Great Denham, Bedfordshire, admitted six counts of fraud by abuse of position.

Kathryn Nethersole, 37, of Great Portway, Great Denham, Bedfordshire, admitted six counts of fraud by abuse of position.

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Police have praised teachers at Two Mile Ash for helping to convict the school’s head of finance who stole £120,000.

Mother-of-three Kathryn Nethersole was jailed for 26 months after admitting transferring money out of the academy’s bank accounts and into her own just two months after taking up her post. Her fraud went undetected for three years.

Detective Constable Paddy Navin said: “I would like to thank the leadership team at Two Mile Ash School for their co-operation and assistance in this investigation.

“Without their efforts in discovering the fraud, and subsequently in supporting the police investigation, this result would not have been possible.

“This is not a victimless crime. Public funds intended for the education of the school’s children were diverted for the personal gain of Ms Nethersole.

“The kind of criminal activity shown by Ms Nethersole will not be tolerated.”

Aylesbury Crown Court heard how the 37-year-old took the cash because she could not adjust to a huge drop in income when she split up with her partner of 18 years.

Nethersole, of Great Portway, Great Denham, Bedfordshire, who was jailed for fraud by abuse of position on Tuesday, spent the cash on luxuries including designer handbags, shoes and exotic holidays and drove an expensive M-Class Mercedes 4x4.

Det Con Navin added: “As a result of the losses suffered by the school in this fraud, and the subsequent investigation, major school projects have had to be shelved or postponed.

“Two Mile Ash School serves pupils from a diverse and varied local community, many of whom are vulnerable and rely on the school for consistency.

“Thames Valley Police remains committed to protecting the most vulnerable in our community and Tuesday’s sentence reflects the seriousness with which the courts will treat such abuse of trust.”