Nottingham

Newark assistant head teacher Clare Hughes on £58k sold stolen textbooks

Clare Hughes Image copyright Raymonds Press
Image caption Clare Hughes pocketed £5,000 from the sale of the textbooks she stole

An assistant head teacher who stole textbooks worth more than £27,000 and sold them online has been given a two-year suspended jail sentence.

Clare Hughes stole the books while working at the Magnus Church of England Academy in Newark, Nottinghamshire.

She took the books, some of which had a value of up to £80, over three years and sold some for as little as 8p.

Hughes, who earned £58,000 a year, had blamed stress but the judge said she "abused the trust placed in her".

Hughes, 41, from Crown Street, Newark, had taught history at the school for 10 years and admitted five counts of theft.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The school had been placed into special measures at the time Hughes

At Nottingham Crown Court defence barrister, Andrea Parnham, said Hughes had been given responsibility for improving the school and the thefts were "a cry for help".

Hughes was only caught when a colleague replaced a stolen book and realised she had repurchased the missing book which Hughes was selling online.

In a statement, head teacher Gill Barker, said: "At a time of tight budgets the books had been expensive to replace and teaching and learning had suffered at the school.

"Colleagues who trusted Clare Hughes had been left feeling devastated, in disbelief and betrayed."

Recorder Shaun Smith said Hughes had "abused the trust placed in her".

He said given how much she earned she did not need the money and her reasons for selling the books were "hard to fathom".

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