Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Generous Donors Conned by Woman's Cancer Scam

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Generous Donors Conned by Woman's Cancer Scam

Article excerpt

Byline: Rob Kennedy Court Reporter

CHARITY cheat Katie Baldwin cheated hundreds of householders out of thousands by pretending to do a sponsored run in aid of young cancer sufferers.

Baldwin knocked on people's doors spinning a yarn about a fundraising event which didn't even exist.

Kind victims were only too happy to hand over their hard earned cash when they heard it was for such a good cause.

Baldwin told them she was raising funds for a children's cancer unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in Gateshead, but no such unit exists.

Now the 25-year-old former mortgage worker has been jailed for six months after she admitted fraud at Newcastle Crown Court.

The court heard Baldwin had lost a good job and developed a heroin addiction and set up the scam to fund her habit.

Sending her to prison, Recorder Dean Kershaw told her: "You committed this offence on people who were charitable and felt compassion for a charity to help children.

"You were claiming money from these innocent people to fund your own drug habit and I have no doubt they would be horrified and outraged to find out the truth about what you were doing.

"It was the utterly despicable nature of what you were doing that makes the offence more serious.

"I'm confident the general public will have little sympathy for you when they find out you were telling people you were collecting for a children's cancer charity when in fact it was to fund your drug habit."

The court heard Baldwin's dad, who was in court with her in a wheelchair, is now suffering from terminal cancer.

Recorder Kershaw said: "Now, with your father in that position, you realise exactly how mean you were when you committed this fraud."

Baldwin's scam was rumbled when a community police officer spotted her on Dryden Road, Low Fell, Gateshead, on October 17 last year. …

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