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Fundraiser admits taking charity’s cash was wrong


A


trusted fundraiser for Watford Lions Club stole more than £1,200 from the charity and


spent the money on himself instead. Mark Franklin, of College Road, Abbots


Langley, was a member of the club — which raises cash for those in need and organises events such as the Abbots Langley Carnival — for five years.


‘Had I not had the support of my friends down the pub, I wouldn’t be here today’


He appeared in the Hemel Hempstead


Magistrates Court on Monday, August 8, and admitted stealing money from the charity. Franklin was fined £300 and ordered to pay


back the total sum stolen of £1,267, as well as court costs and a victim surcharge. Franklin resigned from the club in March,


after a dispute w i t h o t h e r members who h a d r a i s e d concerns over aspects of his behaviour. However he


proceeded to collect money from firms who h a d p l a c e d advertisements in t h e A b b o t s Langley Carnival brochure and from pubs for a Champagne and Easter raffle. Club president Cheryl Peacock said the


Guilty: Mark Franklin.


organisation had contacted Franklin on numerous occasions, via telephone and letter, asking for the money back. She said: ―We didn‘t receive a response. We


were left with no option but to report the matter to the local police. I am just glad the money will return to helping those less fortunate in the community.‖ Mr Franklin said: ―I have been friends with


Cheryl for 14 years and I even introduced her to the club, but for some reason she has been trying to discredit me. I was accused of being ‗overly friendly‘ with her but they won‘t confirm what I‘ve done, instead they send me nasty letters. ―Had I not had the support of my friends down


the pub, I wouldn‘t be here today. I‘ve had two nervous breakdowns and I‘m at breaking point. ―I know what I did was wrong and I admit


that, but they have taken my dignity, my self- respect and honour. What more do they want.‖ by Tori Giglio


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