An ex-Labour councillor who stole almost £100,000 from a Christian charity he was working for has been jailed for 12 months.
Geoff Hammond, who represented the Higham Hill ward from May 2010 until resigning in November when he began to be investigated, admitted fraud through abuse of position last month.
He defrauded The Fellowship of St John Trust Association out of £99,493 while working as the charity’s executive officer between May 29 2012 and August 2013.
He was responsible for the operations and administration of the charity including accounts and records.
He claimed he took the money because he could not meet growing interest on debt repayments for loans and credit cards.
The 50-year-old was sentenced to 12 months in prison at Southwark Crown Court this afternoon.
He said he apologised unreservedly.
A charity spokeswoman said Hammond admitted taking the money on August 5 last year after internal financial controls revealed a substantial figure was unaccounted for.
The spokeswoman added that he has repaid the money and given relevant costs to the trust.
Hammond, of Sollershott East in Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire, was arrested in September.
The Fellowship of St John Trust Association runs educational projects in the UK and abroad.
The charity is expected to issue a statement later today.