Charity fundraiser jailed

DISGRACED fundraiser Richard Green was jailed today for stealing two and a half thousand pounds from the East Anglian Air Ambulance.Green, 49, of Strickland Manor Hill, Yoxford, was sentenced to four months for one offence of theft and three charges of false accounting.

DISGRACED fundraiser Richard Green was jailed today for stealing two and a half thousand pounds from the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

Green, 49, of Strickland Manor Hill, Yoxford, was sentenced to four months for one offence of theft and three charges of false accounting.

Mr Recorder Jeremy Richards said jail was the only option to maintain public confidence in charity fundraising.

He said: "It is a feature of our national life that people give to charities.

"That confidence is damaged in cases of this nature.

"That money is often given by those who have worked very hard to have that money in the first place."

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Green was the chief fundraiser for the Air Ambulance in Suffolk until September 2001.

He was convicted of the four offences in January, despite denying the charges throughout.

Ipswich Crown Court heard Green had continued to protest his innocence during the preparation of a pre-sentence report.

Jeff Israel, defending, said this denial was out of principal.

He urged Mr Recorder Richards to spare his client jail, claiming the length of time between losing his job and being sentenced had already punished him severely.

Mr Israel also urged the judge to consider the impact upon Green's two children - for whom he pays maintenance.

And he asked Mr Recorder Richards to consider whether prison was the best sentence considering the "staleness" of the case and Britain's overcrowded prison system.

Mr Recorder Richards said he had carefully considered all these aspects but that prison was the only appropriate sentence.

Green was jailed for four months for each offence - all sentences to run concurrently.

N What do you think of this punishment? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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