Nursery worker stole from work to fund shopping spree


By Michael MacLeod

A THIEVING nursery worker who stole more than £7000 forcing her work to shut down and two colleagues to lose their jobs blamed an addiction to shopping for her crime.

Lyn Ann McCann, 39, stole a chequebook from Stepping Stones Nursery in Cumbernauld before she “spiralled out of control” on a six month long shopping splurge.

She was only caught when a colleague accidentally opened a bank statement and discovered the nursery account was £4,000 overdrawn.

Forced to close

Police were called in and Stepping Stones was forced to close, costing two other workers their jobs.

McCann offered to repay North Lanarkshire Council the £7,605.72 at Airdrie Sheriff Court yesterday (wed) where she was told she will escape a prison sentence next week.

She admitted she was “too inexperienced” in management to handle so much cash and gave in to temptation.

“Terrible muddle”

Her lawyer Ross Brown said “She was put in a position of responsibility with no previous experience and got herself in a terrible muddle.

“She sought to alleviate that by a particular and rather unusual shopping addiction which brought her happiness in her life.

“It was a fatal combination and she felt pretty helpless.

“She found herself writing the first cheque and thereafter went into a spiral and out of control.

“She is deeply ashamed of her actions.”

Council funding for the charitably-run nursery was cut three weeks into the 2005 term, due to a lack of information on its finances.

Parents money

McCann plans to use money given to her by her parents to pay the courts compensation order.

In a previous hearing the Falkirk woman, who is unemployed, admitted stealing the cash between December 13 2004 and June 21 2005.

Yesterday Sheriff Joanne Johnston deferred sentencing until next week to allow the Crown to establish which name should be on the cheque.

Obtained criminally

She told McCann: “You obtained that sum of money criminally.

“It’s quite plain people should not benefit from criminal activity.

“I am not considering a custodial sentence so if I’m satisfied that money has been paid back I could consider an alternative to custody.”