A charity worker stole nearly £10,000 from Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Appeal – including funds handed to his nine-year-old NEPHEW.
Scott Golding, 45, diverted cash into his own bank account after landing a job as a paid fundraising assistant.
He even took part in a group skydive for the charity, but within months he was stealing donations to fund flash cars and stays in fancy hotels.
Callous Golding even stole money raised by his sister Paula Banks in memory of her son Jack, who died of leukaemia in 2008 aged nine.
And when his deception was rumbled by police, he broke into the Bristol-based charity’s offices in a bid to alter records and cover his tracks.
Golding, from Staple Hill, Bristol, was jailed for six months at Bristol Crown Court after admitting two counts of theft and one of fraud.
The court heard how Golding first came into contact with the charity when a fund was set up in memory of his nephew, called the Jack Banks Star Tribute Fund.
Last April he took on a paid job with the charity, which has raised more than #21 million for Bristol Children’s Hospital since it was founded in 1995.
His offending was first uncovered by his sister Paula, who had asked to help manage his finances.
Fergus Currie, prosecuting, explained: “In August 2012 Paula Banks looked at Mr Golding’s online banking account.
“Ironically, he had asked her for help in managing his finances.
“She noticed a large cash deposit and payment to the Hotel du Vin, some #7,000 since June 7.
“She was surprised and she was worried as she had given him #3,000 to pay into the appeal, which she raised via the Jack Banks Star Tribute Fund.”
Grand Appeal staff became suspicious and found opened cash bags in Golding’s desk.
He broke down and confessed to cops that he had stolen the money to impress a partner, with stays at a posh Bristol hotel and a #1,000 deposit on an Audi.
Jailing him, Judge Geoffrey Mercer QC told Golding: “These are serious offences of dishonesty, stealing just under #9,500 from a charity by which you were employed and making a false instrument to cover up part of that dishonesty.
“You stole money donated to a charity by members of the public, to put money on a car and spend money at a hotel to impress a new partner.
“Your pre-sentence report says you are ashamed and embarrassed. I accept that, and so you should be. It was a flagrant breach of trust against a charity.”
Nicola Masters, director of the Grand Appeal, said: “As soon as we discovered that funds had been stolen from the Appeal, we immediately reported the matter to the police.
“Our team picked up the problem very quickly, which has limited the financial loss to the charity.
“We want to re-assure all our supporters that this is very much an isolated incident and nothing like this has happened before in the charity’s 18-year history.
“We already have tight financial procedures in place but take this matter extremely seriously and are looking to see if there is any more we can do to prevent theft from the charity.”
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