Former head of finance at Cyrenians Cymru jailed for five years

Robert Mark Davies, 50, defrauded the now defunct charity of more than £1.3m over six years, causing it to go into administration in 2015; 75 staff lost their jobs

Robert Mark Davies
Robert Mark Davies

The former head of finance at a now defunct Welsh homelessness charity has been jailed for five years for defrauding the charity of more than £1.3m in order to buy expensive holidays and boats.

Robert Mark Davies, 50, was sentenced at Cardiff Crown Court on Friday after pleading guilty on 18 April to one count of fraud by abuse of position during his time as head of finance at Cyrenians Cymru.

Davies’s fraud, which was worth £1,343,074 over six years, caused the charity to enter administration in 2015.

Davies was dismissed from the charity, which was based in Swansea, in 2014 and was arrested the same year after an investigation by South Wales Police’s economic crime unit.

The charity, which had an income of £2.2m in the year to the end of March 2013, employed 75 staff.

Detective Sergeant Stuart Prendiville of South Wales Police said: "Davies abused both his position as an employee of Cyrenians Cymru and his responsibility to safeguard the financial interests of this organisation.

"Davies stole in excess of £1.3m from the charity over a six-year period, which he used to fund a lavish lifestyle including extravagant holidays and the purchase of several boats. This ultimately was a factor that led to the charity becoming insolvent and the tragic loss of a number of support services provided to the homeless and vulnerable people of Swansea."

The boats have been seized by South Wales Police and will be sold as part of proceeds of crime confiscation proceedings.

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