Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Lymington Oakhaven Hospice manager 'stole from terminally ill'

Oakhaven Hospice Image copyright Google
Image caption Plummer worked at the hospice for eight years from 2008

A former hospice finance manager has been given a suspended jail sentence for stealing charitable donations.

Simon Plummer, 41, admitted taking £13,056 in cash and cheques from Oakhaven Hospice in Lymington, Hampshire.

He used the money to pay for work to extend his two-bedroom home, Southampton Crown Court heard.

Judge Gary Burrell QC told him: "It was a tremendous breach of trust that could easily have affected dying people."

"You deserve to feel shameful as what you have done is steal from the terminally ill," he said.

Image caption Plummer was accompanied by his wife at his court appearance on Monday

The judge, who imposed an 18-month sentence suspended for two years, said Plummer had saved himself from prison by paying the money back in full.

The fraud, between November 2015 and August 2016, was uncovered when Plummer's building material suppliers began to send invoices to the hospice.

The 41-year-old, of Widden Close, Sway, Lymington, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to fraud by abuse of position.

Plummer, who had worked at the hospice since 2008, is now working as a labourer and training as an electrician, the court heard.

Oakhaven Hospice said Mr Plummer was dismissed following an earlier internal investigation into the case.

In a statement, it said: "Oakhaven has in place a strong set of financial procedures which the swift resolution of this matter internally clearly demonstrates.

"The public and all our supporters can be assured that fundraised income and donations are safe and secure."

It said the hospice cost about £4m to run, of which £3.6m came from donations and fundraising.

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