In March 2017 the ex-treasurer of Cleethorpes Rescue Service was jailed for 2 years . From 2007 to 2012 Roxanna Bridgland was the treasurer of this local charity after reportedly engineering the departure of the previous treasurer and chairman.
- She has been found guilty of systematically stealing and defrauding the charity.
- The lifeboat was sold on ebay.
- Radios, safety equipment and other items were traded during visits to Cash Converters.
- The ex-treasurer also defrauded the taxpayer of £6,000 by making false claims for gift aid.
- Admitted five offences of fraud, three of false accounting but plead not guilty of stealing cash.
The thefts caused such a “lack of trust in the community” that donations dried up and subsequent rescue attempts failed. What could have happened if the lifeboat had been needed?
- When questioned by the Charity Commission investigators Roxanna Bridgland denied responsibility claiming to be helping as public and business donations to the charity declined.
- 1085020 – C.O.A.S.T CLEETHORPES OBSERVATION AND SAFETY TEAM has now been removed from the register of charities.
- Previous and alternative names include~:
Cleethorpes rescue and lifeboat service (old name)
Cleethorpes vigilante inshore lifeboat (old name)
Cleethorpes rescue service (working name)
- The charity has not submitted any accounts since March 2011.
When a lifeboat goes missing,( via eBay ), many folk must have known. A charity needs local support and involvement in more than funding.
The ‘warning’ this case could give others has been diluted by the slow justice.
As the Judge said ‘this has all been a result of your greed’. Vigilance and applied commonsense needs to be maintained.