Roxanna Bridgland, 56, even sold the Cleethorpes Rescue Service lifeboat on eBay, as well as selling off other rescue equipment
Treasurer Roxanna Bridgland is starting a two year jail sentence after she was found guilty of stealing £24,500 from the Cleethorpes Rescue Service.
The inshore rescue charity was forced to close as a result, and was left with unpaid gas and electricity bills and debt collectors.
Bridgland, of Watford Avenue, Grimsby, appeared at Hull Crown Court for sentence after pleading guilty to five charges of fraud and three charges of false accounting.
The 56-year-old was the treasurer of the Cleethorpes Rescue Service from 2007-2012, and engineered the resignation of the former treasurer and chairman.
She then started stealing and selling off the charity’s assets, including its mobile radios.
She even sold the charity’s £13,000 lifeboat on eBay for £6,000, pocketing the money herself.
Cleethorpes Rescue Service was set up in 1969 after a woman and three young girls died while riding on the beach.
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In defence, the court heard that Bridgland’s dishonestly started at the same time as a deterioration in her husband’s health.
It was also told how she had inherited £20,000 in 2007 and had managed to “lose or spend” all of it and that she was now surviving on benefits.
In sentencing Bridgland, Judge Mark Bury said: “This is plainly a very sad day in your life. You fall to be sentenced for fraud and false accounting – over a five-year period up to March 2012.
“During that time you stolen nearly £25,000 and claimed £6,500 in gift aid from the government.”
“Your offences started when you manipulated Peter Mason out as the chairman of the charity in 2006. The effect has been extremely serious,” continued the Judge.
“As a direct result of your offending the charity has not survived.
“Notwithstanding attempts by his public-spirited wife Deborah Mason – it has not been able to be revived.
“She even had bailiffs at her doorstep requesting business tax for the boathouse. There has been a toll on her, and people of Cleethorpes. This has all been a result of your greed over a five-year period,” concluded Judge Bury.
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