go

Cocaine-snorting granny stole £10,000 to feed her habit

Social club treasurer abused her position of trust, court told

John Garvey

Reporter:

John Garvey

Contact:

Mobile

Court

A COCAINE-using grandmother stole more than £10,000 in social club funds to feed her habit.

Samantha Fowler abused her position of trust as treasurer of Yattendon and Frilsham Social Club to siphon off the cash.

On Tuesday, November 29, she sobbed as a judge sentenced her to prison but suspended the jail term because of her previous good character.

Victoria Gainza, prosecuting, said the club had been formed at the end of the Second World War and had nearly 100 members.

Its chairman, Eddie Scurr, said in a statement: “Without a bus service, there’s a real need for a social club.

“We’ve raised thousands of pounds for charity in the past.”

But the theft committed by Fowler, of Beechfield, Frilsham, had been financially devastating, he said, adding: “It’s a miracle we’ve been able to keep it open.”

Members had given time and effort to raise extra funds, the court heard, and Mr Scurr concluded: “We’re determined this act of selfishness won’t be the end of our club. It’s brought us closer together.”

Ms Gainza said: “Staff had to work on a voluntary basis and it took a great deal of effort to bring the club back from the brink. It has had a big impact on this tight-knit community.”

Fowler, a mother of three and a grandmother, admitted stealing £10,359.10 from the club between January 15 last year and February 16 this year.

Harper Marshall, defending, said her client had immediately admitted her guilt when challenged by club officials and had shown genuine remorse.

She said that Fowler had “self medicated” with cocaine to cope with a number of personal issues and had consequently developed a habit.

Ms Marshall said Fowler had already repaid much of the money, and continued to do so, although £4,650 remains outstanding.

She said the 49-year-old had “gone cold turkey” with the help of her husband, and added: “She came so close to losing everything and never wants to go back to that place again.”

Judge Henry John sentenced her to 16 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years and attached a rehabilitation activity requirement.

In addition Fowler was ordered to complete 100 hours’ unpaid work, to continue compensating the club and to pay £450 costs.

Leave your comment

Share your opinions on Newbury Weekly News

Characters left: 1000

Article comments

  • spider

    13/12/2016 - 01:01

    It is irrelevant that she is a granny, what matters is she stole money & ultimately other's time coupled with a breach of trust. Yes, more like the gutter press, it would have been more appropriate to focus on the sub heading "Social Club treasurer abused position of trust ......." because that it what it is all about. Whether the money was spent on Cocaine, lottery tickets or on line gambling doesn't matter, it was stolen & there will never be full reparation.

    Reply

  • grumpy

    08/12/2016 - 12:12

    I was disappointed with this story, when it said Granny I thought 80 plus, but she's only 49 !!!

    Reply

    • Tommy

      08/12/2016 - 17:05

      I notice the reporter has read your correct spelling of Granny & altered his from Grannie lol.

      Reply

  • Tommy

    08/12/2016 - 10:10

    A headline more apt for use in the gutter press methinks Mr.Garvey !!

    Reply

  • spider

    07/12/2016 - 19:07

    She knows how much she really "benefited" from her position of trust. It is only through hours of unpaid work that the club were able to unravel the extent of her thefts, "punishment" administered for less than 100% of this. Would you get less for murder if you were of previous "good character", know there are sentencing guide lines but it doesn't lessen the blow to the victims. I hope the drug dealers who made £££££ from this have been identified & sentenced, she knows who they are of course.

    Reply

News

Kennet School and council in dispute over £43,000 payment
News

Kennet School and council dispute £43,000 payment

Lawyers called in to settle 'ongoing issue' with academy

 
Knife confiscated from year 5 pupil
Hampshire

Knife confiscated from primary school pupil

Headteacher declines to comment on actions taken

 
News

Emergency repairs (and traffic delays) on the A4 in Newbury to last until Wednesday

 
News

Major delays in Newbury

1comment

 
News

Road closure in Great Shefford