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Posted on 12:05:00 on 3rd December 2019

Ghislain Smithson

A woman has been jailed for 32 months after stealing about £188,000 from the school where she had worked as finance manager.


Ghislain Smithson, 52, of Sandybeck Way, Cockermouth, worked in this role at Keswick School between 2008 and 2018.


But after she left officials at the school found large sums of money had been paid into two separate bank accounts owned by Smithson.


This happened between 2012 and 2018.


She also used the school bank account to pay for a family holiday and used a school credit card to take out travel money and book a hotel room without permission.


All this was included in the total of about £188,000.


Smithson admitted theft by employee when she appeared before Carlisle Crown Court.


Detective Constable James Graham, of the west Cumbria crime command department, led the investigation.


He said: “Smithson occupied a position of trust – but she abused this to steal a significant amount of money from the school.


“The vigilance of the school uncovered this.


“We worked closely with the school during this investigation and financial inquiries were able to piece together what had happened.”


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