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"Despicable" Thief In Jail After Hospice Theft

Tuesday December 16 2014

A MAN who stole up to £20,000 from a children's hospice will spend Christmas behind bars.

Richard Shepherd, of Rossington, pleaded guilty to stealing from Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.

A police investigation was launched after staff contacted police with their suspicions about the 26-year-old on July 1 of last year.

One member of staff reported observing Shepherd, employed as a finance assistant, counting large piles of money which was outside of normal procedure.

The hospice installed covert cameras, which captured Shepherd putting bundles of money in his pockets before leaving the office.

Shepherd was arrested the following day and officers began carrying out financial enquiries. This revealed that Shepherd had been paying significant sums of money into his bank account during a six-month period.

Financial investigation of the hospice’s donations log showed a deficit of just over £20,000.

PC Angela Hardwick, who lead the investigation, said: "Shepherd’s actions are deplorable and I'm pleased he's now admitted his guilt.

"To steal donated money from a charitable organisation, especially one that provides essential care and support for terminally ill children and their families, is despicable."

Shepherd was given a one-year jail term at Sheffield Crown Court on Monday.

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