JK Rowling’s husband accused his spouse’s ex-PA of stealing from “sick and dying youngsters” on Thursday because the multi-millionaire creator sued the one mom for £24,000.
Dr Neil Murray, 47, made the feedback in court docket throughout a authorized motion towards the Harry Potter creator’s former assistant Amanda Donaldson, 35.
His spouse claims Donaldson abused a enterprise bank card given to her to spend on reserving flights and motels for skilled journey by utilizing it for unauthorised purchases.
JK Rowling is pursuing civil motion underneath her actual identify Joanne Murray towards Ms Donaldson, who she employed from 2014 to 2017 earlier than she was sacked.
Court docket paperwork declare Donaldson, of Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, spent £3,629 on merchandise from Molton Brown, £2,139 within the card store Paper Tiger, one other £1,636 in Starbucks, and £1,482 on merchandise from Jo Malone.
In in the future alone, Donaldson spent £1,052 at posh cleaning soap store Molton Brown – which Dr Murray informed the court docket he believed was the equal of 400 bottles of cleaning soap.
The overall unauthorised spending of £23,696 the bank card was stated to be a “conservative estimate” by the household’s chartered accountant.
However after Donaldson withdrew £400 in money adopted by £250, in December 2016, and failed to offer receipts or invoices, accountants started a “forensic investigation”, resulting in her dismissal in April 2017.
When quizzed by solicitor Kirsteen MacDonald, representing JK Rowling, about why the couple had chosen to pursue Donaldson for a comparatively low sum, Dr Murray stated it was a “matter of precept”.
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Dr Murray stated: “I firmly consider that Amanda Donaldson has stolen a considerable amount of cash and a considerable quantity of Harry Potter merchandise, which was within the workplace to be given to sick and dying youngsters.She has persistently denied all of it and he or she continues to disclaim all of it.
“I really feel it’s a matter of precept right here. I firmly consider she has stolen loads from us. I really feel we now have an obligation to convey this to some form of conclusion.
“If this was a small enterprise, it might destroy that enterprise”.
Airdrie Sheriff Court docket heard that suspicions about Donaldson’s honesty have been raised when fellow workers member Diane Brooks noticed her carrying two luggage from stationery store Paper Tiger out to her automobile.
The expenditure on luxurious items together with stationery, Starbucks and Costa Espresso, and Molton Brown merchandise caught the eye of Ms Brooks who contacted the household’s accountants.
Giving proof, chartered account Simon Simou informed the court docket he believed an electronic mail from Michelin-starred restaurant Fortress Terrace had been doctored by Donaldson to counsel the £400 had been used for a money deposit forward of a workers Christmas meal.
He handed on his considerations to Dr Murray, who contacted the restaurant supervisor in regards to the suspect electronic mail and despatched over a listing of questions.
In response, he was informed the restaurant didn’t settle for money deposits, that no deposit had been put down for the workers Christmas meal, and that the e-mail supplied by Donaldson had by no means been despatched by them.
As a part of her function, Donaldson was presupposed to mark up ‘P’ for ‘private’ – referring to JK Rowling’s wants – and ‘B’ for enterprise, and wouldn’t have been authorised to pay for takeaway espresso, the court docket was informed.
Dr Murray stated there have been kitchen amenities within the workplace and he wouldn’t have authorised spending on Starbucks or Costa Espresso.
Each Dr Murray and Ms Brooks stated in proof that there would have been no enterprise want for Donaldson to be spending 1000’s of kilos at a excessive avenue stationary retailer.
The creator’s household ship personalised Christmas playing cards yearly that are printed particularly, and round £100 was spent on wrapping paper for the mail room, it was stated.
Dr Murray described how he thought of Donaldson to be a “good liar” when he confronted her about he discrepancies.
He stated her “scatty” and “bubbly” persona dropped away as she sat throughout the desk from him.
After Donaldson was suspended on March 19, 2017, a protected she had entry to within the workplace was searched and it was found that international foreign money had vanished.Norwegian Kroner foreign money, for a visit which was later cancelled, was among the many lacking money, totalling £7,742.
The subsequent month, on April 28, 2017, Donaldson was dismissed from her job.
She denies the accusations, and solicitor Allana Turley, representing Donaldson, steered that she had by no means been issued with written directions on the way to use the enterprise card.
Sheriff Derek O’Carroll presided over the listening to, which continues.
JK Rowling’s fortune is estimated at £700m.