A FORMER officer at Bromley Council has admitted defrauding the authority out of over £4,000.

Sheryl Penrose, 38, was sentenced last week at Bromley Magistrates’ Court and handed a 16-week sentence suspended for 12 months and ordered to complete 200 hours of community service.

On Thursday February 20 the court heard how Ms Penrose, of Arkley Road in Walthamstow, cheated the council out of £4,375 between August and November 2013 using a purchase card.

She was dismissed from her post as a senior family support worker for gross misconduct following an investigation by council audit officers and the Royal Borough of Greenwich fraud team.

Ms Penrose’s case was referred to police who made the arrest while finding some of the goods she had bought with the public's money.

Councillor Neil Reddin, chairman of the audit committee, said she abused a “position of trust”.

He said: “We have a zero tolerance policy on fraud whether committed by a member of staff or the public.

“These are public funds meant for those in genuine need.”

Ms Penrose, who pleaded guilty, was also given a compensation order totalling the sum. She has to pay back £200 each month.