School caretaker admits £10,000 fraud – after being shunned by family and friends for having indecent pictures of children
A FRAUDSTER who has been ‘ostracised’ by family and friends after being caught with indecent images of children has now admitted pocketing £10,000 worth of goods at the expense of a primary school.
Simon Ryan, 48, pleaded guilty to fraud at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court having bought items on an Amazon purchase card for himself that he was entrusted to use in his role as site manager at Woodcroft Primary School in Waterlooville.
The defendant, who was an employee of Hampshire County Council, carried out the plethora of purchases between April 2017 and February 2018.
It means Ryan, who was convicted of four charges of making indecent images of a child between July 2013 and April 2017, has breached a suspended sentence he was slapped with for the crimes in May last year.
The court heard how Ryan started working for the authority in 2016 before being suspended in April the following year after a ‘safeguarding issue came to light’ - due to the indecent images of children offences.
But despite being suspended from his post, Ryan carried on using the Amazon card for his own ends – even continuing to do so after he resigned from his role in September 2017.
Prosecutor Giles Fletcher told the court: ‘The school accounts showed the details were not correct. The defendant continued to use the card and purchase items through Amazon with these amounting to £10,000.
‘In police interview he made full admissions and said he was going through a criminal trial for other matters and had been ostracised by family and friends.
‘He said many purchases were gifts for those people.’
Mr Fletcher added: ‘This was a breach of trust with his employer. He took money from Hampshire County Council and the school.
‘It had a big impact on a lot of people. He was using the card for his own ends after being given responsibility to use the card.’
The prosecutor said the starting point for the offence was 18 months jail - resulting in magistrates not having sufficient power to sentence.
Ryan, of Kilmeston Close, Havant, will now be sentenced at Portsmouth Crown Court on May 17. He was granted unconditional bail.
A Hampshire County Council spokesperson said: ‘It is right that appropriate action is taken in the event of theft of public funds.
‘This individual abused his position of trust in the fraudulent use of the school's payment card. We await the sentencing of the court.’