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Charity worker on theft charge

PUBLISHED: 15:00 11 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:10 03 March 2010

A Suffolk charity worker is to appear in court on a charge of theft after thousands of pounds was found to be missing from the accounts of a disability charity in Stowmarket, The Evening Star can reveal.

A Suffolk charity worker is to appear in court on a charge of theft after thousands of pounds was found to be missing from the accounts of a disability charity in Stowmarket, The Evening Star can reveal.

Patricia Wadsworth, 53, of Norton Road, Tostock, near Stowmarket, resigned from her post as transport services manager with Rethink Disability when the disappearances came to light at the end of April last year.

She is due to appear before magistrates in Bury St Edmunds on Tuesday >>.

The charity, which offers a range of services to people with disabilities across the county from its base at Red Gables, Ipswich Road, immediately launched a three-month investigation with the help of the Charity Commission.

Although the charity recovered some of the money alleged to have been taken – believed to be nearly £3,000 – police became involved at the beginning of October, said a spokesman for the Charity Commission.

Colin Poole, Rethink Disability's chief executive, confirmed that some money had been returned and that the Charity Commission were "fully satisfied" with the procedures followed by the charity during their investigations into the alleged theft.

Mrs Wadsworth declined to comment on her forthcoming court appearance.

"I will not say anything before I have spoken to my solicitor," she said.

News of the court action is sure to send shockwaves through the hard-working fraternity of charities in Suffolk.

A fellow charity worker, who did not wish to be named, told the Star of her surprise.

"It's a big shock to me because I've known Pat for years," she said. "She always worked very hard."

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