Doncaster woman admits stealing almost £7k from homelessness charity

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A woman has been convicted of stealing almost £7,000 from the high profile Doncaster homelessness charity she worked for.

Cheryl Brough, aged 42 of Headingley Close, Kirk Sandall, pleaded guilty at Sheffield Crown Court to 18 counts of theft from the M25 housing and support group charity, based on South Parade in Doncaster town centre.

Brough, who was employed both as secretary and assistant director of operations during her time with the M25 housing and support group, admitted to stealing a total of £6,900 from the charity’s internal funds.

The theft counts relate to money taken from the charity between the period October 1, 2012 and November 13, 2013. An M25 spokesman confirmed that the charity became aware of irregularities in their accounts in November last year, when an internal investigation was launched.

Police were made aware of the irregularities and following an investigation, Brough was arrested in March 2014 and charged in June 2014 in connection with the offences. Brough was sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court on October 10 to a total of nine months in custody, suspended for one year.

She has also been ordered to complete 180 hours of unpaid work, and to repay the £6,900 stolen from the charity by November 7.

The M25 housing and support group charity was set up in Doncaster in 1994 and since then has worked to prevent homelessness and relieve, support, and assist homeless people in the borough and surrounding area by providing accommodation either directly or by any other charitable means.

The charity employees around 60 workers in a number of different services, and also has a board of trustees who are responsible for ensuring the charity provides quality services.

A spokesman for the board of trustees said Brough had brought ‘disrepute to M25 and the good people of Doncaster’.

They added: “I can confirm that the board of trustees of M25 worked closely with South Yorkshire Police to bring the prosecution against Cheryl Brough.

“We also carried out an internal investigation using specialist external advice.”

“Following the conclusion of that investigation the M25 board of trustees implemented a number of recommended actions which have resulted in a more robust management structure and financial procedures.”

“Cheryl Brough has let down our clients and broken the trust in her relationships with work colleagues and the board.” Investigating officer Detective Constable Victoria Stewart said of the case: “Brough abused her position of power in a charity for vulnerable and homeless people, to steal money for her own financial gain.

“To exploit her position in this manner and take money away from those really in need is appalling.”

“I am pleased that as part of her conviction Brough has been ordered to pay back the money she stole.”

Brough was contacted regarding this story, but declined to comment.