Receptionist stole £6k from Wakefield Hospice

Kathleen Gaughan Leaves Leeds Magistrates Court Leeds...18th March 2013.Picture by Simon Hulme
Kathleen Gaughan Leaves Leeds Magistrates Court Leeds...18th March 2013.Picture by Simon Hulme
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A Wakefield Hospice receptionist stole more than £6,000 from the charity after getting in to debt following a relationship breakdown.

Kathleen Gaughan, 51, plundered a total of £6,482 between October 2011 and June last year.

Gaughan, of previous good character, appeared at Leeds Magistrates’ Court for sentence this week after earlier pleading guilty to theft by employee.

James Littlehales, mitigating said: “She is genuinely remorseful and ashamed. She had separated from her then partner and she lost the family home. She had to live with a co-worker. She started to accrue debt and took money with the intention of paying it back. Matters escalated, snowballed. She took substantial sums of money and she concedes that.

“She has lost not only her employment. She is going to find it extremely difficulty at her age with this conviction to find employment again.”

Gaughan was handed a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months and ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work. Gaughan, who is now on benefits, must pay £5,000 in compensation.

After the hearing, Wakefield Hospice’s chief executive officer Karen Crawshaw confirmed Gaughan had been dismissed in July last year from her role as a receptionist for theft.

She added: “Mrs Gaughan’s actions are to be deplored and have devastated the close-knit hospice team. We are pleased she has been made accountable for her actions.”