Fraud charge denial by ex-Sick Kids boss

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A FORMER charity boss who ran a fundraising appeal for the Sick Kids has denied fraudulently claiming expenses.

Elaine McGonigle, 48, is accused of wrongly claiming £1855 between September 2008 and March 2010 while running the New Pyjamas campaign.

The allegations include £70.40 mileage for a meeting with Jack McConnell and £75.07 for a meeting with businesswoman Ann Gloag.

It is also alleged she claimed £436.38 for business flights to and from London when the sum had been spent on a flight to Majorca for herself, her husband and son, and £548 for flights between Edinburgh and London when she and her husband had gone to Bulgaria.

McGonigle, of Perthshire, was not present at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday when her solicitor, Peter Robertson, told Sheriff Nigel Morrison QC his client was pleading not guilty to all 13 charges.

The trial was fixed for three days in May after fiscal depute Aidan Higgins said it was “likely to take some time”.

Yesterday’s hearing was initially called for a legal debate on a defence motion, but it was withdrawn by Mr Robertson.