Kids losers in $9000 theft

Last updated 05:00 16/08/2012

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The former treasurer of the Waimate Main School Parent Teacher Association (PTA) has admitted stealing $9000.

Sharon Louise Hawker, 47, pleaded guilty last Thursday in Timaru District Court to 17 charges of misuse of a document, eight charges of theft and 11 charges of making a false entry.

She was convicted and remanded on bail by Judge Joanna Maze to September 26 for sentencing.

Between November 25, 2010 and May 5, 2012, Hawker stole $9037 while working as the PTA's treasurer. As treasurer she had the authority to sign cheques, which she used for her own use. Instead of depositing money from fundraisers, she took the money; $4063 was stolen this way.

She also falsified financial reports given to the PTA so her stealing was not picked up.

She was arrested and charged on May 26, 2012.

Waimate Main School principal Adam Rivett said she had effectively stolen from the children.

"To have money taken from children is pretty rough, to be frank. That money was raised for the children, and that means the children will miss out. There is no excuse for what she did."

The money was to go toward the construction of a new volleyball court and to purchase a set of new desks for the senior class.

"Those things will still happen, but the school will have to cover that cost."

PTA chairperson Trish Lapthorn said the theft was disappointing for all families within the school community that had helped.

"It was a large sum and has put us in a very, very low position now. The PTA exists for the benefit of the students, to raise funds so we can benefit our kids.

"We're a small wee school down here and we have very strong support and we'll just have to keep going."

Waimate Main School has three classrooms with a roll of 62. The school employs three teachers, a special needs teacher, a part-time office administrator, and four teacher aides.

Other court matters Triton Thompson, 18, unemployed of Timaru; burglary (two charges), resisting arrest - convicted and remanded on bail to October 9 for sentencing.

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- The Timaru Herald

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