12 Mar 2014

Ex-principal and husband plead guilty

7:33 pm on 12 March 2014

Two days into a trial at the Auckland District Court, a former school principal has admitted using her husband's companies to funnel cash out of her decile one school.

The couple cheated Mayfield Primary School in Otara out of more than $30,000.

Colleen Margaret Gray pleaded guilty to nine charges of dishonestly using a document and two charges of using a forged document.

Her husband, Bruce Kenneth Gray, pleaded guilty to four charges of dishonestly using a document.

The pair have admitted using Bruce Gray's company to file false invoices to the Auckland primary school in the names of fictitious teachers. Colleen Gray also admitted using the school's credit card and chequebook to pay for three separate trips to Australia.

The court was told that during the time of the Grays' offending the school was strapped for cash and trying to save every dollar.

Otara-Papatoetoe community board chair Fa'anana Efeso Collins said parents would be gutted.

"More than $30,000 that Mayfield Primary School has been cheated of by their former principal will be quite devastating for many of the parents, especially at the time when the school was strapped for cash and parents would have been doing as much as they could at home to make sure that the kids get to school and they're fed, they're well clothed, they're warm," Mr Collins said.

The couple have been remanded on bail and will be sentenced in May.