A WOMAN who embezzled over £14,000 while being the treasurer of Ness Boating Club has been ordered to complete 100 hours unpaid work with 16 months of supervision.
Hazel Bairnson, 53, of Sandveien in Lerwick, was also ordered to pay the boating club £450 in compensation after admitting the fraud, which took place between 28 February 2018 and 15 January last year.
Lerwick Sheriff Court heard on Wednesday that Bairnson had presented 21 separate cheques worth £14,216.88 at the Ness Boating Club in Virkie, at Santander Bank on Commercial Street and elsewhere.
She had subsequently paid back all the money.
Procurator fiscal Duncan McKenzie said the fraud came to light when Bairnson presented the boating club books to accountants for audit.
She immediately owned up to what she had been doing when the discrepancy was questioned.
Tommy Allan, defending, said that Bairnson did not try to hide the fact that she had taken money and she had meant to repay it.
He added: “Often these things get out of hand and once the ball starts rolling it is difficult to get it to stop.”
Bairnson, he said, had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, already had a “rough ride in the high court of social media.”
Sheriff Ian Cruickshank described it as a “breach of trust” but mitigating factors were that Bairnson has accepted full responsibility.
She also realised that her actions had been of longer term harm to the boating club, he said.
It was her first offence and a social inquiry report said there was little chance of her reoffending.
Become a supporter of Shetland News
Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.
Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.
Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has over 300 supporters who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.
Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -
- Bring you the headlines as they happen;
- Stay editorially independent;
- Give a voice to the community;
- Grow site traffic further;
- Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.
If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or by monthly subscription.
Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.Support Shetland News