A TYLDESLEY grandmother has spoken out to defend her name after being convicted of fraud charges.
Christine Hutton appeared in court after £5,000 went missing from the Sacred Heart parochial club, in Lodge Road, Hindsford, Atherton.
Hutton, the manager of the club at the time, was responsible for the finances and banking takings.
At the end of the 2009/2010 financial year accountants checked the figures and found they could not reconcile them, said Peter Barr, prosecuting.
Liverpool Crown Court heard that 60-year-old Hutton admitted not banking takings on two occasions in February last year. The total sum involved was between £4,300 and £5,300.
Hutton, of Crawford Avenue, Tyldesley, pleaded guilty to fraud and was ordered to carry out 100 hours unpaid work.
Ben Jones, defending, said that Hutton had never been in trouble before and was ashamed of her behaviour.
She had been having financial difficulties which led her to commit the offence and she was still struggling and unable to pay compensation or prosecution costs.
Hutton, a mum-of-seven, this week spoke of her shame following her conviction but maintained she always worked in the club’s best interests.
She said: “I’d resigned from my post in April last year and 10 days later I had a letter from the Liverpool Diocese about discrepancies in the club’s balances.
“But there’s never been a set amount of money that is supposed to have been taken.
“I’ve never been in trouble before. Now this is a mark against my name and my family are not happy.
“I’ve not worked since. I’ve not even tried for another job because this will show against my record. It’s embarrassing to have to go to the probation officer and carry out community service. I built the club up over two and a half years and organised lots of charity events,
“I will still maintain until the day I die that the money has not gone into my pocket. But I agree it was neglect of duty and I should have kept a closer check on how much was in the safe.
“I have nothing to hide and still think I did my best for the club.”