Fraudster stole £32k from brain injury charity to pay for Viagra and ‘extreme dating’ sites

January 10, 2013 | by | 0 Comments
Fraudster David Field

Fraudster David Field

A fraudster has been jailed for four years after he stole nearly £32,000 from a brain injury charity – and splashed the cash on Viagra and ‘extreme dating’ websites.

David Field, 56, also forked out on meeting a mystery woman at a Travelodge and flowers for his now ex-wife.

He swindled a total of £31,713 from brain injury charity Headway in just four months after he was put in charge of finances at one of their regional branches in 2010.

Field, who had been jailed twice for fraud in the past, failed to disclose his previous convictions and also told staff at the offices in Credenhill, Herefordshire that he held a chartered management qualification.

Hereford Crown Court heard that he used the charity’s bank card to withdraw £15,000 in cash and make £16,713 worth of online purchases between August 2010 and January 2011.

These included shipments of erectile dysfunction drug Viagra, which Field had sent to the charity’s offices.

He also spent £150 on a subscription to an “extreme dating” websites and splashed out #100 on flowers for his now ex-wife.

The court heard Field paid for a woman – named only as ‘Rachel’ – to go on holiday and used Headway’s cash to meet her at a Travelodge in Hereford.

He told colleagues that she was providing free IT services but Judge Daniel Pearce-Higgins QC said “the relationship was clearly more than that.”

Field, from Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, also paid off gambling, council tax and credit card debts with the stolen cash.

He was jailed for four years on Monday after pleading guilty to fraud at an earlier hearing.

Sentencing Field, Judge Pearce-Higgins QC also banned him from becoming a company director for eight years.

The HQ of the charity 'Headway' in Credenhill , Herefordshire

The HQ of the charity ‘Headway’ in Credenhill , Herefordshire

He said: “The damage you inflicted went much further than the deception.”

The fraud came to light when solicitors from a previous employer called Headway and told them about Field’s convictions.

When confronted by staff at the centre, Field admitted being jailed for 12 months in 1992, and again for three years in 1999.

He tried to shrug off the sentence, telling staff he had been jailed on a technicality but charity bosses became suspicious and called the police who arrested Field.

During police interviews Field claimed he had been “stitched up” but on the first day of his trial last November he changed his plea to guilty.

The court heard that the charity paid Field a £13,000 salary, meaning he had cost Headway £45,000 in total.

The court also heard that Field had since been declared bankrupt, meaning the charity would never get the money back.

Speaking after the sentencing, Headway representative Luke Griggs slammed Field’s “brutal betrayal”.

He said: “There is no winner in this situation.

“This was a callous and calculating act, a brutal betrayal of trust and that is why we welcome the tough sentence.

“Fraud is often described as a victimless crime but the human impact is certainly very real – the charity has been left on the brink.

“It is currently being supported by the national branch and we’ll continue to do everything we can to ensure its long-term future.

“But this could not have happened at a worse time when it is already so tough to get grants and funding.

“The money taken will never be recouped – that is £45,000 we will never see again.”

Headway works to rehabilitate people with brain injuries and offers support to their carers and families.

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