Shamed RBL treasurer could face jail

A CROOKED British Legion treasurer can still count on the love of his wife – even if he goes to jail, The Evening Star reveals today.Robert Hetherington, 69, of Kerry Avenue, Ipswich, is awaiting sentence at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court after he admitted stealing £2,000 from British Legion social club funds.

By Amanda Cresswell

A CROOKED British Legion treasurer can still count on the love of his wife – even if he goes to jail, The Evening Star reveals today.

Robert Hetherington, 69, of Kerry Avenue, Ipswich, is awaiting sentence at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court after he admitted stealing £2,000 from British Legion social club funds. His wife Doreen today vowed to stand by her man.

Mrs Hetherington said: "I didn't know anything about it (the offence) until a policeman called and my husband told me. Yes, I feel sorry for him and am disappointed but I love him."


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She spoke out after disabled Hetherington appeared before South East Suffolk magistrates where he admitted stealing the money between January and March this year to pay off debts.

Mrs Hetherington, 73, said the retired accountant had "given his life to the Royal British Legion" after he finished national service in 1951.

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But magistrates heard Hetherington was cooking the books in order to pay off outstanding debts.

Hetherington took up the post at the Wickham Market club when the last treasurer retired after 50 years, prosecutor Gareth Davies told magistrates.

"The last treasurer was getting a bit long in the tooth by this time, but the accounts were left in tip top order," he said.

The court was told the club could not find a replacement for the treasurer locally so it advertised in the newspapers.

Hetherington worked with the treasurer before taking up sole responsibility for the financial running of the club in January 23 this year.

Bench chairman, Vicky Sears, adjourned sentencing until the afternoon of December 11, after Sharon Hector, mitigating, asked for psychiatric reports.

Mr Hetherington achieved a gold badge in recognition of services to the organisation, which hangs proudly on the sitting room wall along with an Eastern Area Council Bramford branch certificate.

"He is a good man," said his wife. "He has offered to pay the money back. It was a momentary lapse.

"His whole life he has been good. No one knows why he did it. I am heartbroken, but we have suffered because of it."

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