Man jailed after stealing £24,000 from charitable fund to help ill and disabled workers

PUBLISHED: 09:17 19 July 2016

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A Failand man has been jailed for 27 months for stealing more than £24,000 from a welfare fund set up to help the sick and bereaved.

Bill Kirwan, aged 63, was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court on July 5 after pleading guilty to taking money from a fund set up by workers to support members through illness, disability and bereavement.

The court was told Kirwan was the secretary at Bristol Port Welfare Fund and was responsible for handling their finances.

His role was to handle cheques that had been counter signed and to make them out to authorised recipients. Kirwan however made cheques out to cash and cashed them at a number of bank branches near his home and kept the money.

Kirwan, who is married and now works as a bus driver, admitted stealing money from the fund, but said he started in 2005 when he was sacked by the port company, although he retained the position of trustee of the welfare fund

At first, he said he only stole £8-10,000 but he later accepted he did not know how much he had taken.

In September 2013, two trustees of the fund and a member approached the police as they believed money had been stolen from the fund.

The court was told last week Kirwan failed to co-operate and would not supply any records or an explanation.

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