Harry Potter author JK Rowling has launched a £24,000 legal claim against a former employee after she allegedly stole merchandise and splashed out on luxury gifts.

Rowling, 53, claims Amanda Donaldson who had been employed by the writer for over three years has broken strict working agreements by using a company credit card and money from a safe to buy high-end cosmetics, gifts and even two cats.

Donaldson, 35, worked for Rowling as a personal assistant between February 2014 and April 2017 before being sacked for gross misconduct.

Legal papers lodged at Airdrie Sheriff Court allege Donaldson benefited to a value of £23,696.32 by spending on a company business credit card and taking Harry Potter merchandise.

She had to submit statements and receipts once a month to the accountants, but discrepancies were picked up in February last year on statements revealing a high volume of personal spending by Donaldson.

She had a crunch meeting with an accountant to discuss use of card and was later suspended.

She also alleges Donaldson took a Harry Potter Monster Book of Monsters worth £47, two Harry Potter Crystal Ornaments valued at £48 and Harry Potter Pin Badges worth £24.

The author has also claimed her former employee of taking £7,742 of foreign money from a safe.