close
close
blog

The thieving boss who stole from charity to buy herself a TV and BBQ

A charity CEO who stole from petty cash to purchase a TV and barbecue has been fired and brought before court. Jane Harding has been the chief executive of North Staffs Carers Association for 19 years, and was sacked when her theft was discovered.

She has since confessed to her crimes at North Staffordshire Justice Centre, with the 55-year-old being warned that she could face jail time.

Prosecutor Ian Shaw told the court: “It’s quite a sad case frankly. Ms Harding was chief executive officer of North Staffs Carers and had been in that role for around 19 years.

READ MORE: ‘Watching Dame Deborah James die at 40 saved my life’

“It came to light in October 2021 that there were some discrepancies in petty cash. The deputy chief executive officer and chair of the organization started doing some investigation and it transpired that they discovered that Ms Harding had been claiming money, putting in petty cash receipts which represented items that had been purchased but not for the benefit of the charity.

“Among them was a TV and a barbecue. What seems to have happened is when items were bought, other staff who had the authority to sign for petty cash were asked to sign blank slips and Ms Harding said she would fill in the details later.

“Items she had bought and claimed for included the barbecue which was seen on a website when the house was for sale in the back garden. A TV was purchased which is still in her possession.

“A meeting was held with Ms Harding. Ms Harding was dismissed from her post.”

North Staffs Carers Association called in Staffordshire Police which twice interviewed Harding, reports Stoke on Trent Live.

“It is clearly a serious matter in terms of breach of trust because of the position Ms Harding held as chief executive. She was a lady of previous good character, as you would expect from someone who held that sort of position,” added Mr Shaw .

Harding, of George Steele Avenue, Bucknall, has pleaded guilty to the theft of £945.55 from North Staffs Carers Association between May 29, 2019, and December 15, 2021. She will be sentenced on September 16.

Janice Sain-Reiners, mitigating, highlighted Harding’s previous good character and long service to the charity. Adding to her statement, she said: “She has had difficulties with her mental health and physical health and a relationship breakdown at the time of these offenses. I would suggest a pre-sentence report would be very useful.

“I have heard this took place during Covid times, when things were difficult, and she has had considerable stress since the allegations..”

Related Articles

Back to top button