The Fellowship of St John Trust Association says charitable work has not been significantly disrupted

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Geoff Hammond. Geoff Hammond.

The charity which employed a Labour councillor who went on to steal nearly £100,000 from the organisation has said staff found the ordeal which led to him being jailed as “very distressing”.

Geoff Hammond, who represented Higham Hill ward, was jailed for 12 months after admitting stealing £99,493 from The Fellowship of St John Trust Association while working as the charity’s executive officer between May 29 2012 and August 2013.

A charity spokeswoman said: “This has been a very distressing situation for all those associated with the trust.

“We have ensured minimum disruption to our charitable work.”

Hammond, of Sollershott East in Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire, claimed he took the money because of mounting interest on debt repayments for loans and credit cards.

At his sentencing at Southwark Crown Court yesterday he apologised “unreservedly” and has repaid the money.

Hammond was in charge of the charity’s operations and administration, including accounts and records.

The money was found to be missing by internal financial controls at the charity.

A Waltham Forest Labour group spokesman said: “This has been an unfortunate event for all concerned.

“However, following due legal procedure justice has been done.”

Comments (7)

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8:56am Sat 11 Jan 14

myopinioncounts says...

How did he repay if he claimed he stole because he was in debt? Has the charity shown the money WAS repaid?
How did he repay if he claimed he stole because he was in debt? Has the charity shown the money WAS repaid? myopinioncounts
  • Score: 5

9:02am Sat 11 Jan 14

Techno3 says...

Yet again, one of the local Labour Party's hand-picked tribunes turns out to be living miles away from the people they were supposed to be representing as well as utterly unsuited for the task.
Yet again, one of the local Labour Party's hand-picked tribunes turns out to be living miles away from the people they were supposed to be representing as well as utterly unsuited for the task. Techno3
  • Score: 8

9:51am Sat 11 Jan 14

MICHAEL MCGOUGH says...

Techno3 wrote:
Yet again, one of the local Labour Party's hand-picked tribunes turns out to be living miles away from the people they were supposed to be representing as well as utterly unsuited for the task.
Yes , how did he stand as a councillor? :did he use a fake address or employment ?
[quote][p][bold]Techno3[/bold] wrote: Yet again, one of the local Labour Party's hand-picked tribunes turns out to be living miles away from the people they were supposed to be representing as well as utterly unsuited for the task.[/p][/quote]Yes , how did he stand as a councillor? :did he use a fake address or employment ? MICHAEL MCGOUGH
  • Score: 6

9:53am Sat 11 Jan 14

MICHAEL MCGOUGH says...

I trust LBWF Democratic Services will review his qualifications to stand together with those of all his Labour now ex colleagues
I trust LBWF Democratic Services will review his qualifications to stand together with those of all his Labour now ex colleagues MICHAEL MCGOUGH
  • Score: 7

10:58pm Sun 12 Jan 14

mdj says...

'This has been an unfortunate event for all concerned. '

The Labour Party needs to do much more than this to explain how one of their hand-picked representatives was a thief. What are their selection criteria good for?
This small charity was largely run by ministers of religion, not financial experts, but they caught him all the same.
Waltham Forest employs many professional financial experts, and still can't account for £11 million of funds that went missing when Cllr Loakes was leader. Nobody went to jail. Similar sums have gone walkies in relation to the O-Regen and Worknet scandals. The E11BID fiasco has yet to reveal its full horrors.
Was Hammond's biggest mistake to steal from the wrong employer?
'This has been an unfortunate event for all concerned. ' The Labour Party needs to do much more than this to explain how one of their hand-picked representatives was a thief. What are their selection criteria good for? This small charity was largely run by ministers of religion, not financial experts, but they caught him all the same. Waltham Forest employs many professional financial experts, and still can't account for £11 million of funds that went missing when Cllr Loakes was leader. Nobody went to jail. Similar sums have gone walkies in relation to the O-Regen and Worknet scandals. The E11BID fiasco has yet to reveal its full horrors. Was Hammond's biggest mistake to steal from the wrong employer? mdj
  • Score: 2

12:32pm Mon 13 Jan 14

Walthamster says...

'This has been an unfortunate event for all concerned.'

It was certainly unfortunate for Geoff Hammond. He was caught and sacked within 15 months of starting his job, and his ex-employers got the money back and him in jail.

If a little charity can do this, it shows up the highly paid bureaucracy of Waltham Forest, who let millions of pounds disappear from public funds.

Why won't they prosecute anyone responsible? Even when outside authorities track them down and name them -- to the council only?
'This has been an unfortunate event for all concerned.' It was certainly unfortunate for Geoff Hammond. He was caught and sacked within 15 months of starting his job, and his ex-employers got the money back and him in jail. If a little charity can do this, it shows up the highly paid bureaucracy of Waltham Forest, who let millions of pounds disappear from public funds. Why won't they prosecute anyone responsible? Even when outside authorities track them down and name them -- to the council only? Walthamster
  • Score: 1

7:03pm Thu 16 Jan 14

GWChingford says...

Geoff Hammond used to live in the Borough so was eligible to stand as a councillor. He has sold his house in the Borough and moved comparatively recently. Maybe the proceeds of that sale were what was used to repay the charity
Geoff Hammond used to live in the Borough so was eligible to stand as a councillor. He has sold his house in the Borough and moved comparatively recently. Maybe the proceeds of that sale were what was used to repay the charity GWChingford
  • Score: 0

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