Girl Guides volunteer aged 70 stole more than £7,000 from the charity
A pensioner who stole more than £7,000 from the Girl Guides while volunteering as treasurer for the Wakefield area has avoided immediate jail.
Susan Hull, 70, had been a volunteer for the Girl Guide institution for more than 20 years when she stole a total of £7,470 over a three years while acting as a treasurer, Leeds Crown Court heard.
The court heard she has suffered from cancer and she got into financial difficulties after her husband's death.
Prosecutor, Bashir Ahmed, said Hull was responsible for producing financial reports of money coming in and going out for the Girl Guides in Wakefield area.
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Mr Ahmed said an annual general meeting had been arranged and Hull was supposed to produce accounting reports for the meeting, which she failed to do.
Mr Ahmed said suspicions were aroused and Hull confessed she had stolen what she thought was around £5,000 when she met with met the Girl Guides county commissioner in March 2018.
Mr Ahmed said: "She said the reason for stealing the money was the death of her husband and the fact she was left in £10,000 of debt."
Hull, who has no previous convictions, was suspended from her voluntary role.
Hull, of Knowl Grove, Mirfield, admitted theft.
Sarah Cunnane, mitigating, said she is making regular payments to pay back the money and has so far paid £500.
Miss Cunnane said Hull was diagnosed with stomach cancer around nine years ago, had to have surgery and is currently in remission.
The court heard Hull's husband, who had been suffering from MS, died around a year later.
Miss Cunnane said after his death it was discovered Hull had received around £10,000 in over payments of housing benefit and she ended up in court in connection with that.
Miss Cunnane added: "It appears she has then become in a mess with her finances."
Handing Hull a six month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, Judge Robin Mairs told her: "That was money that was no doubt difficult to raise in straightened times and was for the use of the girls themselves.
"In effect you were stealing from those girls that in the past you had worked for."