Tears flowed when a teacher, who was attached to St Martins High School (SMSS), told the court that the $ 28,435 she had withdrawn from the school’s book lending program was intended for medical costs.
Three charges of theft against the government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) were laid against Je-Ann Jones-Ellis, 36, of Old Montrose, when she appeared in serious offenses court yesterday.
The charges arose out of three sums, namely $ 210, $ 14,310 and $ 13,915, which were taken from the school’s book lending program during the years 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively.
Jones-Ellis has been appointed responsible for the operation and operation of the book lending program since 2015. The defendant pleaded guilty to, between October 3 and 11, 2016, taking the sum of $ 210, and in 2017, the sum of $ 14,310 between January 10 and November 6. Finally, between June 8 and September 7, 2018, $ 13,915 was withdrawn.
The deputy principal of the school was apparently the first person to notice that something was wrong, and he referred the issue of irregularities to the audit department. The audit service then confirmed it and a report was made to the police.
During their investigations, the defendant, who had been a teacher at the school since 2013, was arrested for questioning. During this time, she admitted the offenses.
Jones-Ellis said she suffered from a serious health condition that she had faced for years. She was not represented by a lawyer yesterday, and in her own mitigation, she presented documents to show what she had battled with the disease over the years.
The educator apparently became moved in front of Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias, who noted that the disease was potentially fatal.
Jones-Ellis allegedly used all the money to pay the medical bills, and police found no money in his house during the search. The accused allegedly said that she would have to travel for treatment.
The Chief Justice issued an order for compensation for the stolen money. In the case of the $ 210, this had to be paid immediately, failing a week’s imprisonment. For the amounts of $ 14,310 and $ 13,915, they must be paid no later than July 31, 2019, failing which 10 months and nine months of imprisonment have been respectively ordered.