The daughter of a West Yorkshire lottery winner stole £22,000 from a children’s nursery in early 2014.

She has now escaped jail after paying back the funds.

Samantha Crossland stole from a cash box containing parent fees which had been paid to Child’s Play Day Nursery near Dewsbury, where she worked in a position of trust.

Crossland was facing a custodial sentence unless she repaid the stolen cash. The nursery owner confirmed that a total of £22,642 had been taken.

Much of the money was removed from a cash box on the wall in which parents left their fees; only Crossland and the nursery owner had access to this.

Mrs Quigley, the nursery owner, became aware of the financial discrepancy in early 2014; at this point Crossland was arrested and later pleaded guilty to one charge of theft.

Last week, the court heard that Mrs Quigley had received a payment of £22,643 on the 22 April 2015, and with the repayment of cash stolen Crossland was spared a custodial sentence. She was instead ordered to complete a 12 month community order and do 180 hours of unpaid work.

Recorder Ray Singh said: “You were in a position of significant trust by Miss Quigley. You were left alone to deal with the money; it is therefore a breach of trust.”

“Staff parents and the like were no doubt finding it very difficult to understand what was happening.”

After the hearing, Mrs Quigley said: “I feel really relieved that I’m finally going to get closure now that the court case has finished and the money taken has been repaid in full.”

“I’m happy that justice has been served after what has been a very difficult year.”

“But I still have no idea why she did this to me - why a good friend would betray me like this.”

How hard is it to place trust in someone when it comes down to the financial aspects of your livelihood?

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