Struggling mum stole thousands from baby charity
A MUM stole more than £2,800 from a charity's bank account while acting as its treasurer, a court heard.
Tina Boswell wrote out 22 cheques to herself in seven months, using money from Nottingham Trent Twins and Multiple Births Club.
Boswell, 35, of Ash Court, Carlton, was struggling with money and the breakdown of her 12-year marriage, Nottingham Crown Court heard.
She pleaded guilty to theft of £2,849.
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Boswell joined the club in 2005 after giving birth to twin girls. In November 2010 she became treasurer.
Abigail Joyce, prosecuting, said the bank account with Lloyds TSB had more than £1,300 in it on December 1, 2010. But cheques bounced in June 2011. Miss Joyce said: "The chairman went to the bank to pay in some money and while there requested a statement. It showed the balance of the account was significantly lower than expected."
Copies of cheques were requested and the payments were discovered.
Boswell was arrested in July. Miss Joyce said: "She had limited funds and was clearly in some financial difficulty."
Laura Pitman, in mitigation, described the case as having been a "sad and sorry tale for all parties involved", adding: "It's perfectly clear this is a woman who was struggling in the face of a marital breakdown and financial difficulties, who normally would contribute a lot to the community."
Judge Philip Head gave Boswell, who had no previous convictions, 12 months' jail, suspended for two years. He also ordered her to complete 225 hours' unpaid work.
Nottingham Trent Twins and Multiple Births Club helps around 120 families. Lloyds TSB reimbursed the charity because the money was withdrawn with one signatory, when the bank should have asked for two.
In a statement, the club committee said: "The shock of the discovery and the uncertain situation caused the committee considerable anguish for many weeks. The trustees in particular were deeply concerned that they might be responsible for replacing the missing money themselves.
"On a personal level we feel sad that Tina's personal circumstances have led to this dishonesty. We appreciate there is a community service element to the sentence requiring personal effort but she will not have to pay the money back.
"We had a responsibility to follow the legal process to seek justice and protect the interests of our members, as well as to maintain the reputation of the club as a registered charity."