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Ex-PCF principal fined $8,000 for stealing $13,538 from the school.

Bavani V R Kumaran was fined $8,000 on Tuesday for misappropriating a total of $13,538 from a PAP community foundation (PCF) that she headed.

The 39-year-old pleaded guilty to one charge of criminal breach of trust, with another count of the same taken into account in sentencing.

Bavani was the principal of the PCF Sparkletots Preschool at Block 644, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4.

She is said to have stolen $6,690.65 from the school safe between 3 January and 26 November 2014 and $6,848.30 between 12 January and 30 January 2015. The money was spent off by Bavani.

The money that was kept in the safe were school fees collected from the children. A key and a password are required to open the safe. Bavani knew the password and borrowed the key from a senior teacher a number of times to unlawfully take some money.

Bavani's deeds were discovered when an executive principal of the preschool carried out an internal audit when she realised that there were unpaid fees at the school. A police report was then filed against Bavani on 22 December 2015.

Bavani has since paid back the full sum of money that she stole.

Her lawyer, Jolene Tan informed the court that Bavani is a single parent who lives in a rented HDB flat with two children, aged 16 and 18.

Bavani divorced in 2012 and has held two jobs, working more than 12 hours a day to support her daughters.

She also suffers from cervical spondylosis, a condition affecting the joints and discs in the neck, and diabetes.

Bavani escaped the maximum punishment for criminal breach of trust which are seven years' jail and a fine.