A woman has admitted stealing tens of thousands of pounds from a Carlisle children's nursery.

Christine Rowley, 42, pleaded guilty to five offences when she appeared at Carlisle Crown Court.

She admitted the theft of money from the First Friends Nursery, in Beaver Road, between January 1, 2012 and April 1 last year.

The prosecution told the court that she stole £54,856.35 during that period of just over five years.

However, the court heard the exact figure was the subject of some dispute, with the defence claiming the figure to be lower than that.

Some of the cash stolen is said to have already been repaid.

During Friday's short crown court hearing, Rowley also admitted four fraud charges, appearing emotional in the dock as she did so.

Three of these offences are said to have been committed by signing cheques using another woman's name on three separate dates in 2013.

A fourth reflects the creation of false bank statements, between September 30 in 2016, and January 1 last year.

Rowley, of Oglanby Terrace, Fletchertown, was said to have submitted a written basis for her guilty pleas. This was described by her barrister, Kim Whittlestone, as a "very considered and "realistic" document.

Miss Whittlestone said a number of references had also been submitted on behalf of her client.

"She is a lady of previous good character," the barrister added.

Judge James Adkin adjourned the case, giving the prosecution two weeks in which to consider the basis Rowley had submitted for her guilty pleas.

She is said to be a former treasurer at the nursery, and had been employed as an administrator during the time of her offending.

Judge Adkin also directed that a report on her should be prepared by the probation service. "This will look at the background and the motivation for committing the offences," he told Rowley.

A sentencing hearing was listed for September 6, and Rowley was granted bail in the meantime.

But Judge Adkin told her: "The mere fact I am adjourning your case is no indication of what the sentence will be.

"You may well find yourself in a perilous position."