A view of a red brick school building with a gate, driveway and cars in the foreground.

Former Melbourne High School business manager pleads guilty to stealing more than $350,000

A woman accused of pilfering more than $350,000 from one of Melbourne’s most prestigious selective schools will plead guilty, telling a court that she has accepted responsibility “since day one”.

Frances Walshe, 65, today appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court where she was facing 17 charges dating back to 2012, when she was the business manager at Melbourne High School in South Yarra.

But today, her lawyers revealed that she had managed to strike a deal with prosecutors who, in turn, dropped six charges against her.

Walshe pleaded guilty to stealing $358,512 from the school.

Charge sheets released by the court reveal she defrauded the school of around $77,000 by changing the details on invoices.

The South Yarra secondary school is a selective public school.(ABC News: Simon Winter)

Her lawyer, Anna Balmer, today told the court that her client’s case had been “resolved”.

Walshe entered a plea by videolink from her home in Morwell.

“Do you plead guilty or not guilty?” Magistrate Stephen Ballek asked.

“Guilty, your honor,” Walshe said.

“And I have done since day one,” she said.

Walshe will face a pre-sentence hearing at the County Court in February.


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