A former volunteer treasurer has been sentenced to two years in jail after being found guilty of stealing more than £200,000 from a charity that supports newspaper and magazine sellers.
Marilyn Stadius, from Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, was sentenced to two years imprisonment for theft at Newcastle Crown Court on Monday, the court confirmed.
A spokesman for NewstrAid, a benevolent fund for retailers and distributors of magazines and newspapers, said that it believed Stadius had stolen £218,000 over the course of 20 years.
Stadius was a volunteer treasurer and was given signed blank cheques to pay out monthly lottery prizes, but in 2001 she started paying the cheques into her own account.
A spokesman said the theft was discovered last September when an audit was carried out by the charity. The charity is not expecting to be repayed anything by Stadius because she had no financial assets.
The spokesman said: "It’s really quite devastating. It’s a serious breach of trust by the individual, it’s very tragic for the charity and very tragic for her."
He added that the charity was determined not to let the theft affect its work.