Council considering action in school fraud case

Linda Whittaker

Linda Whittaker

First published in Education Hampshire Chronicle: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

HAMPSHIRE civic chiefs are considering taking action to rake back money defrauded by a dishonest school bursar.

Linda Whittaker, pictured, the bursar of a Winchester special needs school, received an 18-month jail suspended sentence for swindling £18,000 out of Hampshire County Council in faked overtime claims.

Last week the city crown court saw Whittaker sob and clutch a tissue to her face when told she had been “rumbled” for dishonestly submitting timesheets for her friend Patricia Hickman at Osborne School between 2008 and 2010.

Judge Jane Miller QC told her: “Together you manipulated the system. The claims were put in in an underhand manner,” she said. “I have doubts that the work was ever worked by her.

There should have been a second person in the dock with you.”

The court heard how Ms Hickman is not being pursued by Hampshire County Council for the £18,000 that she received as a result of the fraud.

But a Hampshire County Council spokesperson later said: “Following Mrs Whittaker’s conviction on the charges relating to pay claims for Mrs Hickman, Hampshire County Council is considering options for the recovery of fraudulent payments made. Mrs Hickman left her employment at Osborne School for reasons unrelated to the case.”

Whittaker, 65, of Lovedon Lane, Kings Worthy, was acquitted of fraudulently claiming £54,000 in overtime payments for herself.

Osborne School, off Andover Road, declined to comment on the case.

Comments (7)

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6:31am Tue 29 Apr 14

chapellady says...

The thing that gets forgotten about this case is that Osborne is a fantastic school catering for children with learning difficulties, and this money has been stolen from these vulnerable children.
The thing that gets forgotten about this case is that Osborne is a fantastic school catering for children with learning difficulties, and this money has been stolen from these vulnerable children. chapellady
  • Score: 10

8:52am Tue 29 Apr 14

camerajuan says...

Regardless of who this school caters for and how well they do it, this woman stole money from a school whilst being paid by them.

Lock her up. That's a crime.
Regardless of who this school caters for and how well they do it, this woman stole money from a school whilst being paid by them. Lock her up. That's a crime. camerajuan
  • Score: 3

9:15am Tue 29 Apr 14

huckit P says...

Anyone found guilty of fraud should be made to repay every penny they stole. They should also be made to pay all costs incurred throughout the case.
Anyone found guilty of fraud should be made to repay every penny they stole. They should also be made to pay all costs incurred throughout the case. huckit P
  • Score: 4

9:18am Tue 29 Apr 14

userds5050 says...

chapellady wrote:
The thing that gets forgotten about this case is that Osborne is a fantastic school catering for children with learning difficulties, and this money has been stolen from these vulnerable children.
It hasn't been forgotten because it's constantly mentioned on any thread concerning this story. Any one would think these vulnerable kids are going to starve now. The fraud was against Hampshire County Council.
[quote][p][bold]chapellady[/bold] wrote: The thing that gets forgotten about this case is that Osborne is a fantastic school catering for children with learning difficulties, and this money has been stolen from these vulnerable children.[/p][/quote]It hasn't been forgotten because it's constantly mentioned on any thread concerning this story. Any one would think these vulnerable kids are going to starve now. The fraud was against Hampshire County Council. userds5050
  • Score: -4

9:39am Tue 29 Apr 14

bigfella777 says...

Dont put more stress on her, she's depressed.
Dont put more stress on her, she's depressed. bigfella777
  • Score: -5

10:22am Tue 29 Apr 14

ToastyTea says...

if this was a 20 year old guy he would have gone to prison for a few years
if this was a 20 year old guy he would have gone to prison for a few years ToastyTea
  • Score: 1

12:44pm Tue 29 Apr 14

waltons11 says...

ToastyTea wrote:
if this was a 20 year old guy he would have gone to prison for a few years
And so should she - it's no excuse crying after the event and saying "I'm depressed". I feel down sometimes but I do not steal!
[quote][p][bold]ToastyTea[/bold] wrote: if this was a 20 year old guy he would have gone to prison for a few years[/p][/quote]And so should she - it's no excuse crying after the event and saying "I'm depressed". I feel down sometimes but I do not steal! waltons11
  • Score: 2

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