THE trial of a school secretary who denies stealing almost £39,000 from her workplace has been put back by several months.

Further evidence which is to be put forward by the Crown to counter the defence case means the trial is likely to take longer than the original four to five days scheduled at Durham Crown Court, which was to start on January 7.

Defendant Sharon Dickinson, 49, of Burdon Close in Newton Aycliffe, denies stealing the money from St Michael’s Church of England Primary School, in Bishop Middleham, between January 2010 and January 2017.

She also denies fraud by abuse of position.

The trial, of up to two weeks, will now take place at Teesside Crown Court, in mid-September next year.

Bail has been extended.