'Shame' of Four Crosses woman who spent cancer charity money

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Court Reporter

A WOMAN says she was not allowed to attend a family funeral after she spent money she had raised for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Jannet Keating, 54, of Parc Hafod, Four Crosses, appeared in Welshpool Magistrates’ court on Tuesday where she pleaded guilty to the theft of £1,300 from Macmillan.

Helen Tench, prosecuting, said: “A counter fraud manager at Macmillan was made aware of the fundraising activities of the defendant.

“The money had not been paid to them as required.”

The money had been raised with a promise auction in Llandrinio and a ‘brave the shave’ event.

Ms Tench told the court that Keating was interviewed by police and made a full admission.

In the interview she confirmed she held two events in July 2016, the auction raised £1,000 and the fun day/brave the shave raised £300.

Ms Tench said that Keating had explained how she had kept the cash in a drawer and started using it little by little bit.

This went on for two to three months after which there was a few hundred pound of it left.

The court heard that in October, others approached Keating about the money and she had said she was mortified.

Ms Tench said that Keating had contacted Macmillan and set up a payment plan, she also lost her job due to the allegations though she had now found new employment.

The court also heard that Keating had received vile abuse from some people in the village.

Ms Tench added that in March 2017 the payments to Macmillan stopped, the payments have since restarted and there is an outstanding balance of £1,175.

Keating provided her own defence at the hearing in the form of a letter.

In the letter she said: “I have been paying it back on a weekly basis and will continue until the monies are all paid.”

Keating added that she had been struggling financially but she had just started new employment.

She also said she had lost the respect of her family and was not allowed to attend the funeral of her mother-in-law.

She said she would put right her wrong doing and offered her full apologies.

After the letter was read, Keating added: “I am just so ashamed. I find it so hard because I don’t get to see the family from my own stupidity.”

Magistrates gave Keating a three year conditional discharge for the theft offence.

She was also ordered to pay £1,175 compensation to Macmillan, £85 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

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