THE treasurer of a church-run project set up to feed hard-up residents has been remanded in custody after admitting stealing thousands of pounds from the scheme.
Just last month, Ruth Lumsden, 44, took on the role of treasurer at CAFE Together, a charitable organisation involving churches in Easington.
The charity provides hot meals to disadvantaged people for as little as £1.
But just weeks after starting the role, Lumsden appeared at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court after stealing £5,000 from the scheme.
Justices have committed her case to Durham Crown Court for sentencing.
Lumsden, of Crawlaw Road, in Easington Colliery, admitted theft by employee and fraud by false representation when she appeared at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court.
In April, Lumsden took on the role of treasurer with the initiative and was given access to its online banking system and bank cards, say prosecutors at the CPS.
But just one week later, the former treasurer was contacted by the Co-op Bank saying there were irregular transactions on one of the bank cards.
Subsequent enquiries revealed that five transfers, totalling £5,000, had been made into Lumsden’s account.
She was interviewed by police and fully admitted the offences, committed between April 22 and May 7.
Magistrates felt their powers were insufficient to deal with the case.
They remanded Lumsden in custody and she will appear at the crown court on June 5.