Woman who stole from Duns festival is caught embezzling again

A teacher who stole £12,000 from the Duns Summer Festival committee has admitted another embezzlement offence, with a sheriff warning her she could be jailed.

By Court reporter
Tuesday, 19th April 2022, 4:28 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th April 2022, 4:28 pm
Selkirk Sheriff Court.

On Tuesday, Alison McWilliam, 61, pleaded guilty at Selkirk Sheriff Court to stealing more than £9,000 while working as the manager of an out-of-school club.

She took a total of £9,264.16 from The Big Space at Melrose Primary School, Roxburghshire, between July and August last year.

McWilliam embezzled a total of £12,375.98 from the Duns Summer Festival in 2014, leaving them with just 18p in their bank account.

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For that crime, she was sentenced to two years’ supervision and 200 hours of unpaid work.

McWilliam was also sacked from her job as a Modern Studies teacher at Kelso High School, but avoided being struck off by The General Teaching Council in 2017, who decided instead to issue a reprimand and a Conditional Registration Order.

The hearing was told she had cashed in her pension to repay the money.

She claimed she had become addicted to online gambling following her involvement in a fatal car crash in 2014.

But after landing the job with The Big Space she embezzled another £9,000.

The offence happened at her home in Chapel Street, Selkirk.

Sheriff Peter Paterson said it was a serious matter, especially as it was her second embezzlement offence.

He deferred sentence until May 16 for background reports and warned of a period of imprisonment being imposed despite her ongoing health issues.