Former Animal Ambulance treasurer appears in court

Joseph Bulmer

Charity treasurer accused of obtaining more than �100,000 through fraud and theft.

A FORMER North Devon Animal Ambulance treasurer has appeared in front of North Devon Magistrates’ Court today (Friday) charged with obtaining more than �100,000 through fraud and theft.

Jennifer Colenso, 69, of West Yelland, withheld her plea on all eight counts of fraud by abuse of position of which she is charged with obtaining in excess of �99,000 and two counts of theft by employee of which she is accused of obtaining �23,000.

Mark Hadlow, for the prosecution, claimed that Mrs Colenso was in a position of “extreme trust” as treasurer of the charity. He said on all 10 counts, she is alleged to have taken a total of around �122,000 between April 1, 2010 and November 30, 2010.

The court heard that on two occasions she took money donated by the public from charity boxes to draw cheques for her own personal use and to pay other people.

Mrs Colenso was defended by Tony Dart, who made no comment other than to agree with the prosecution that the matter should be committed to Exeter Crown Court.

Magistrates ordered Mrs Colenso to appear again before the magistrates court on March 5, and she was given bail on the condition that she have no contact with any staff, office holders or trustees of the North Devon Animal Ambulance.

The case will then stand to be committed to the crown court, where it will continue.