Hartlepool teacher could be jailed after admitting pocketing school trips cash

COURT: Thomas Bisset leaving Hartlepool Magistrates' Court.

COURT: Thomas Bisset leaving Hartlepool Magistrates' Court.

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A teacher admitted pocketing about £16,000 from running school trips.

Thomas Bissett over-charged parents and over-stated the number of children he took on the excursions, Teesside Crown Court heard.

All options will be open to whoever it is who sentences you, including custody.

Judge Peter Armstrong

It took place while Bissett was a teacher at St Hild’s Church of England VA Secondary School, Hartlepool.

Bissett, 47, of Durham Street, Hartlepool, admitted fraud between January and April 2014.

Ian Hudson, defending, told the court Bissett has since been sacked.

“This case has had a devastating impact on him,” Mr Hudson added. “He has been to see a psychologist.

“The sum involved is about £16,000, so I would submit that while custody is a possibility, it is not inevitable.

“He is a man of previous good character, with no relevant previous convictions.

“Before sentence can be passed, the court will need a medical report as well as the usual pre-sentence report.

“I would also like to obtain a number of references and some other relevant material to put before the court on his behalf.”

Judge Peter Armstrong adjourned the case and bailed Bissett to return to court to be dealt with on September 16.

The judge told him: “I am adjourning the case for the preparation of the various documents.

“You may have bail in the meantime, but you should not take that as any indication of the sentence. All options will be open to whoever it is who sentences you, including custody.”

A spokesman for St Hild’s Church of England VA Secondary School, said: “We can confirm that Mr Bisset is no longer an employee at the school.”