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Trustee’s £30,000 fraud could have resulted in closure of village social club

PUBLISHED: 10:47 28 September 2017

A village social club defrauded out of more than £30,000 could have been forced to close had the deception not been uncovered.

Former administrator and trustee Daphne Townsend, 58, admitted stealing from Acle War Memorial Recreation Centre and Social Club between April 2015 and October 2016.

Barry Coveley, chairman of the social club said: “We are very disappointed and our members are upset. This could have got to the point where the social club might not function financially and there might not be anywhere like this in the village. Even now, people are still very upset.”

He added: “She was given the role as administrator on the ground of being a trusted person, however, during her time of being administrator, she was taking money for financial gain.”

MORE: Trusted social club administrator jailed for “mean” theft of £30,000

Townsend, of The Green in Acle was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment at Norwich Crown Court after pleading guilty to fraud by false representation at an earlier hearing in August.

The offences were carried out in a variety of ways including paying herself in cash to avoid inclusion of Income Tax, not banking invoiced money and stating certain things had been paid for when they hadn’t. In total, £30,845 was stolen.

Investigating officer, detective constable Kevin Maskell welcomed the sentence saying: “This was a significant breach of trust where Daphne Townsend abused the position she held as an administrator and trustee for the social club over a seven-month period.

“Instead of managing the finances, she used the money to pay off debts and to fund her lifestyle including a trip to a hotel in Skegness.

“This results highlights that Norfolk Constabulary will continue to work with partner agencies to identify offenders and bring them to justice.”

The court hearing was on Friday, September 22.

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