Blackburn Salvation Army worker stole £12k from resident

AN admin worker for the Salvation Army in Blackburn stole more than £12,000 from a vulnerable resident.

Blackburn magistrates heard Valerie Yates took cheques belonging to Gordon Roocroft and made them out to herself.

Yates, 48, of Eagle Street, Accrington, pleaded guilty to 30 charges of theft. She was committed on bail to Preston Crown Court to be sentenced on January 16.

Scott Ainge, prosecuting, said Yates had been employed by the Salvation Army for 20 years.

He said Mr Roocroft had lived there for 23 years and Yates had access to his finances.

“She has taken a number of cheques written out to herself and in total she has taken over £12,000 from the gentleman over a six month period,” said Mr Ainge.

“The prosecution says this is too serious to be dealt with at this court and should go to the Crown Court.”

Gareth Price, defending, accepted the offences were beyond the powers of punishment of the magistrates.

A spokeswoman for the Salvation Army said: “This guilty plea indicates that there was a clear breach of the trust we placed upon our employee.

“When we identified this fraudulent situation, the action we took included the immediate suspension of our employee and the instruction for an internal audit investigation to take place.

“We have also made a commitment to repay in full the funds to our service user who was the victim in this fraudulent act.

“We deeply regret that this situation happened and we have taken steps to review and tighten our procedures.”

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