Builders sentenced for stealing £3.5m from Dorset charity

Three building professionals were convicted last week for taking £3.5m from a charity.

Winchester Crown Court heard how the trio invoiced the Talbot Village Trust for work not done, and disguised inflated professional fees in contracts.

The trust, which sells land in Dorset to finance charitable projects, was persistently and deliberately defrauded over 11 years.

The trial centred on six construction projects on trust land in Wallisdown, including hostels for Bournemouth University students and accommodation for the elderly.

Architect and former Bournemouth FC director Guy Pound, 71, and quantity surveyors Anthony Green, 76, and Peter Beard, 56, were all unanimously convicted of conspiring to defraud. They will be sentenced on 19 April.

Peter Hayward and John Parkinson, chairman and managing director of construction company W Hayward and Sons, were unanimously cleared.

The trust issued a statement saying that it was unaware of any wrongdoing until it was contacted by the police in 1998. It also said that the trust was considering whether to take any further action.

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