A FINANCE chief who embezzled almost £8000 from a charity has narrowly avoided jail after it was revealed that she is repaying the sum in full.

When Jacqueline Smith appeared in the dock at Paisley Sheriff Court to admit the offence, solicitor John Gardner confirmed his client had already paid £5000 back to the British Red Cross and set up a standing order to have the balance of £2974.23 settled as well. A senior credit controller at the Paisley-based HQ for charity, she embezzled the sum by altering payment instructions to have various sums re-directed to accounts she set up in her own name. She resorted to bolstering her own income while employed at the Red Cross depot in Smithhills Street last year.

Smith, 47, of Church Hill, Paisley, was made the subject of a two-year community payback order requiring her to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work.

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