Jail for man who stole from charity

A CHARITY boss has been jailed for two years after pocketing more than £50,000 that was supposed to pay for disabled and terminally ill children to go on holiday.

A CHARITY boss has been jailed for two years after pocketing more than £50,000 that was supposed to pay for disabled and terminally ill children to go on holiday.

Stuart Collins, 59, stole the money from The Children's Magic Wand Trust while he was depressed and had drink and gambling problems, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Collins, of Henstead Gardens, Ipswich, admitted five offences of theft and asked for 15 offences to be considered.

The court was told Collins was the chairman and a trustee of the charity and had stolen £49,531 between May 2002 and December 2003


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Michael Crimp, prosecuting, said that the charity raised money to provide assistance for disabled and terminally ill children in the form of holidays and remedial care.

He said that Collins had access to the charity's cheque book and had “misappropriated” money from the charity's account into his own account.

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The offences came to light when the charity's funds were transferred into a new account and it was noticed that money was missing.

Shereen Dyer, for Collins, accepted that her client had abused his position of trust at the charity to steal money.

She said the offences were committed at a time when he was suffering from severe depression, alcohol dependency and was gambling.

She said that Collins had had a wife, children and employment. “As a result of his own actions and the breakdown of his business and marriage he has become a very isolated man,” she said.

She said that since the offences Collins had tried to kill himself and he was remorseful that his actions had deprived individuals of a chance to benefit from the charity.

A hearing will take place next month at which Collins will be expected to provide information to the court about his assets.

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