Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

CANCER WORKER SWINDLED CASH; Fundraiser Caught Lining Own Pockets

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

CANCER WORKER SWINDLED CASH; Fundraiser Caught Lining Own Pockets

Article excerpt

Byline: By KATY SIMPSON

FOR 20 years he has been a charity fundraiser, but heartless Harry Story has been caught lining his own pockets.

Story, 64, of Woodlea Square, North Shields, led a double life as a successful fundraiser but also a scheming fraudster.

He was well-respected as a volunteer heading up North Shields Cancer Research, which he ran for about 20 years.

But today his reputation lies in tatters after Story admitted siphoning off pounds 1,607 from the charity's account into his own in the space of three months.

He pleaded guilty to fraud at Newcastle Crown Court, having previously denied a charge of theft. He is awaiting sentencing next month.

Story's cover was blown when joint fundraiser Dorothy Brooke, from Whitley Bay, became suspicious of his bookkeeping, which didn't seem to add up. She realised she had been duped by her friend of over 20 years, and took the painful decision to call the police.

Story's deception came to a head when he was arrested just hours before a fundraising function at Burnside School on February 28 this year.

It was too late for Dorothy to warn all 200 ticket-holders that it had been cancelled, and many of the charity's supporters still turned up for the evening event.

Meanwhile, Story was released from custody and took the bold decision to attend the fundraiser he had organised.

Disgusted Dorothy today told the Chronicle she had no choice but to call the police a second time.

"The police came and seized all the collecting tins in front of everyone," she said. "I couldn't believe he was actually there, it was so humiliating.

"I still think to this day he was going to tell people it was me who had taken the money, because he realised the game was up and he had to explain to people why the money was missing. It has been a very difficult time for me, because inevitably people associate my name with him, as we have been fundrais-ing together for 20 years. …

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