Thief preyed upon 'weakest' in Somerset funeral scam

PUBLISHED: 09:38 04 August 2016 | UPDATED: 09:38 04 August 2016

Archant

A disgraced funeral director, who stole almost £9,000 donated to charities by grieving families, has been spared jail.

These cheques were intended for charities... but never got there due to Pople's dishonesty.These cheques were intended for charities... but never got there due to Pople's dishonesty.

Alison Pople, aged 50, was the director of George Williams Funeral Home when she helped herself to memorial donations from people who thought their money was going to charities including Weston Hospicecare, the NSPCC and Cancer Research UK.

She also faked ‘thank you’ letters from these charities – including the hospice – in an attempt to cover her tracks.

A judge at Taunton Crown Court yesterday (Wednesday) condemned Pople for preying upon ‘the most vulnerable and weakest in society’ but spared her a prison sentence.

The court heard how Pople, of Redcliffe Street in Cheddar, stole the money between 2011 and 2014 to support her failing business, which was on the verge of bankruptcy.

Pople had pleaded guilty to one count of fraud and abuse of trust and three counts of creating articles for use in fraud at an earlier hearing.

Judge David Ticehurst sentenced Pople to 15 months in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered her to repay the £8,847 she stole within three months.

* For the full story pick up a copy of today’s Mercury.

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