A former council officer has been given a suspended sentence for defrauding a local authority.

Sheryl Penrose, of Arkley Road in Walthamstow, pleaded guilty to gross misconduct in court and was given a 16-week sentence suspended for 12 months.

The 38-year-old senior family support worker at Bromley Council cheated the authority out of £4,375 between August and November 2013 using a purchase card.

She was sentenced last week at Bromley Magistrates’ Court and was also ordered to complete 200 hours of community service.

Penrose was dismissed from her post for gross misconduct following an investigation by council audit officers and the Royal Borough of Greenwich fraud team.

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

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

Penrose has been ordered to pay back £200 each month.