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Trusted man broke in to charity to take cash
A MAN who stole from a Leominster charity has been ordered to pay back the money that was taken.
Michael Haile, 40, of Martin Close, Malvern, pleaded guilty to stealing from Forces Support on January 13, which supports families who have lost loved ones in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Hereford Magistrates Court heard last Friday (February 15) that Haile, who was a volunteer driver for the charity, entered its warehouse on Worcester Road using a key, dislodged a CCTV camera and conducted an untidy search of the property to make it look as though it had been burgled.
He then opened a back door and posted the keys through the front door letterbox, before taking a cash box containing £584.10.
Haile then handed himself in to police at Malvern Police Station on January 15.
Lesley Ashton, prosecuting, said Haile was ‘fed up of having no money’ and spent the charity’s money on drugs.
However, Miss Ashton said he did feel ‘some remorse’.
Chris Read, defending, said Haile is receiving help for mental health issues, which is working.
Magistrate Neil Pascoe told Haile: “You have to sink low to steal from charity.”
He sentenced him to 12 months’ rehabilitation and to pay £694.10, which includes a victim surcharge , replacing the cash box and stolen money.
Bill McCance founded Forces Support three years ago, and said he is pleased the charity won’t lose out.
“It will be good to get the money back, as that could have funded an entire project,” he said.
“However, the team is very disappointed to be let down by someone who they trusted.”