The owner of a Petts Wood salon has avoided jail after being found guilty of stealing nearly £2,000 from a school.

Zehra Suleyman, owner of Zara, a hair and beauty salon off Queensway, was convicted of thieving cash totalling £1,965 from the Blackfen Turkish School, based at the Blackfen School for Girls.

She was found guilty of two charges of theft dating back to 2010 and 2011 after a trial at Inner London Crown Court last month.

Another charge had been dropped and she was found not guilty of a fourth.

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Suleyman, of Marlings Park Avenue, Chislehurst, was sentenced at the same court on Monday (August 3) to six months in prison suspended for 12 months.

The 48-year-old must pay £180 compensation and £3,500 prosecution costs.

The Blackfen Turkish School, which is a charity, has around 120 students aged six to 17.

A spokesman for the school said: "We had no choice as we are a charity but to go to the police. We’re not happy that it happened but we are happy that justice has been done.

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Zehra Suleyman. Photo: Facebook

"She was chairman for a number of years; she stopped being chairman in 2013. We had the new chairperson look at the accounts and there were some discrepancies. As a school and as a committee we were shocked.

"We will not stand for anything of this sort and we have shown how serious we are about anybody doing anything illegal.

"The school was the victim in all this. It’s such a shame that it’s come to this, but we’re glad justice has been served."