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Finance director who stole £77k from child support charity jailed for 28 months

Stephen Hession (pictured), who worked for the now defunct Family Care, was caught after he told a colleague about the theft

Stephen Hession
Stephen Hession

The former finance director of a defunct child support charity who stole £76,819 from it has been jailed for 28 months.

Stephen Hession, 52, from Broadway Gardens, Peterborough, last week appeared at Peterborough Crown Court charged with three counts of theft from Family Care totalling £119,000.

He pleaded guilty to one count of theft of £76,819. Another two counts of theft will remain on file.

A court spokeswoman said that the charity had since ceased trading, but that during the trial Judge Peter Murphy said he could not single out the theft as the sole cause of the charity’s failure.

Detective Inspector Andy Tolley, who investigated the case, said in a statement that Hession had breached the trust that was placed in him. "Hession stole tens of thousands of pounds by putting the money through different accounts," he said. "The fact that his deceit only came to light when he told a colleague shows the level of trust put in him.

"That money was to be spent on supporting parents and families in Peterborough, but he used it for himself."

The statement said that Hession had paid back some of the money through a civil order and had offered to sell equity on his house to pay back the remainder.

The former chief executive of Family Care, Alan Lord, 64, also appeared in court in March. He pleaded not guilty to one charge of theft from the charity. Peterborough Magistrates Court heard that the charge related to the alleged theft of £30,000 between 1 January 2005 and 31 December 2011. The next hearing is scheduled to take place on 9 May.

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