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Secretary pays back £4,000 she stole from lifeboat volunteers

PUBLISHED: 11:18 20 November 2018 | UPDATED: 07:54 21 November 2018

Jessica Parker   PHOTO: Sonya Duncan

Jessica Parker PHOTO: Sonya Duncan

ARCHANT EASTERN DAILY PRESS (01603) 772434

A woman who stole almost £4,000 from a lifeboat charity is thought to have repaid the sum.

Jessica Parker, 58, previously admitted stealing the money from Sea Palling Voluntary Rescue Service when she worked as its secretary.

She pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing at Norwich Magistrates’ Court to 10 counts of fraud by abuse of position and was sentenced at Norwich Crown Court in July to eight months in prison suspended for two years.

She was also ordered to repay the money she took within 28 days.

A Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) hearing on Tuesday (November 20) heard that an email showed payment of £3,987 had been made to HMRC court service.

Duncan O’Donnell, prosecuting, said he had been told by the defence that the money “has been paid”.

Judge Maureen Bacon ordered that checks were made to clarify the position.

As previously reported, Judge Stephen Holt said Parker, of Corton Road, Norwich, was secretary of a small charity intended to help with the costs of a lifeboat.

He said the charity had been hit hard, and volunteers feared it may affect future donations.

He said Parker reacted in an “aggressive, unpleasant way” when challenged by other volunteers, and questioned her remorse.

Lindsay Cox, prosecuting, said the offending happened over a three-month period in 2016 and came to light when a new treasurer discovered irregularities with the charity’s finances.

She was suspended from her role and police were called in.

He said Parker had made payments to herself including cheques, and got away with this as second signatories trusted her.

Danielle O’Donovan, mitigating, said Parker was “deeply ashamed” of what had happened.

The court heard that Parker had previously been convicted of deception with intent to defraud in 1983, and false accounting and failing to notify of a change of circumstances in 2007.

In January this year her previously estranged son was jailed for more than four years.

Chris Parker, 33, had been dubbed the “bombing hero” when he claimed to have helped victims of the Manchester Arena attack last year.

However, he later admitted to having stolen a teenager’s phone from the purse of Pauline Healey as her 14-year-old granddaughter was dying in front of her.

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