Detective helps playgroup after £45,000 fraud

A playgroup which was left struggling after their former manager defrauded them of almost £45,000, has won funding from a community scheme after being nominated by a detective who worked on the case.

Detective Constable Nicholas Jones nominated the North Somercotes playgroup after bumping into members of staff selling items at a car boot in order to raise funds to keep the group going.

The scheme, offered by Police Mutual, offers rewards of £200 to projects which are shown to be a force for good in the local community.

DC Jones said: “This case was particularly destructive, and has had a massively lasting impact on a charity playgroup that runs right at the heart of the community.

“Whilst working on this case, which resulted in a successful prosecution and a prison sentence, I was impressed by the resolve and effort of staff in keeping the playgroup going. I felt I needed to do something when I bumped into members of staff at a car boot, selling items to raise money to keep them going.

“It is important for me that as the police, as well as helping solve and prevent crimes, we do as much as possible to help people recover as much as we possibly can.

“I entered the scheme immediately, and I hope that, while it may only be a small amount, this money can help in any way possible to reduce the damage caused by 
this offence.”

Stephanie Morrow, North Somercotes playgroup manager, said: “This crime has left us really struggling, but the resolve shown by the community and my staff 
has been incredible.

“This donation, given to us by Detective Constable Jones, helps us incredibly.

“We all want to thank him for his support, and to the community for getting behind us as we recover.”

Former manager Julie Sharp, of East Row, South Somercotes, was sentenced to three years in prison at Lincoln Crown Court in July.