HIV charity chair guilty of theft

Helen Warrell

The chairman and co-founder of a support organisation for women with HIV has been found guilty of stealing thousands of pounds from the charity's funds.

Marcus Wood set up the Hackney Women's Project in 2003, alongside Rwandan refugee Janet Murungi. The charity was established after the co-founders won a grant of £5,000 from Hackney Council.

However, when the council asked to see the charity's bank accounts a year later, Murungi found that most of the project's money had been withdrawn.

When asked to repay the missing money, Wood refused - at which point, Murungi notified the police.

Prosecutor Grace Ong told Southwark Crown Court that Wood had removed £4,520 of the charity's funds from cash machines to use for his own "services and entertainments".

The defendant was found guilty of theft on 7 September and is due to be sentenced on 12 October.

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