Norfolk hospital worker jailed for £152,697 charity theft
A hospital worker described as "mean and despicable" for stealing £152,697 from a charity fund has been jailed.
Steven Hart, 42, of Arlington Close, Attleborough, Norfolk, admitted stealing the money from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital fund.
At Norwich Crown Court, Judge Stephen Holt heard Hart forged the signature of his manager on cheques.
The defendant was jailed for two years and eight months, for the thefts between January 2011 and November 2016.
More than 140 cheque payments from the hospital's charitable fund were paid into Hart's Halifax account and his credit card account with Lloyds Bank.
Hart, who had worked for 20 years for the hospital and helped administer the fund, was only caught after accounting anomalies were discovered.
'Funds for the sick'
The court heard Hart had been spent the money on alcohol as he was an alcoholic, although the judge said he did not believe it had all been spent that way.
Judge Holt said Hart had stolen from "funds that come from ordinary people that have given money to assist people who are sick".
He told Hart: "Your actions were mean and despicable. You were stealing from a charity."
Andrew Oliver, representing Hart, said his client had problems with anxiety and was not able to function without alcohol.
"Without drinking he would not be able to get through a day," he said.
Mr Oliver said that when the crime was uncovered Hart "found himself in a very dark place and admitted all matters and demonstrated a high level of remorse".