The former accounts controller of Herefordshire Headway has been sentenced to four years in prison for stealing more than £34,000 from the brain injury charity.
David Field, 56, of Wormridge, Ross-on-Wye, used the charity’s credit card to pay for items including his own mortgage, credit card debts, impotency drugs and a subscription to a dating website.
He was sentenced at Hereford Crown Court on Monday to four years in prison and disqualified from being a company director for eight years. He had pleaded guilty to the four counts of fraud at an earlier hearing in November.
The judge added a further £10,000 in calculating the loss to the charity from wages he earned during the period. He worked at Herefordshire Headway between September 2010 and January 2011.
A spokesman for Headway UK, the body for about 120 Headway organisations in the UK and the Channel Islands, said the loss had put the long-term future of Herefordshire Headway at risk.
He said Herefordshire Headway, which had an income of £234,432 in 2011/12, was awarded a nominal £1 repayment from Field by the court and had recovered some of the loss through insurance, but the majority had been written off.
Headway UK was providing practical and financial support to the charity to enable it to carry on, but the loss came at a difficult time, given the economic climate, he said.
"We are determined that Herefordshire Headway will continue, but the challenge is greater than it was," he said. "There was a real risk that the damage could have been terminal had it not been discovered when it was."