Woman in court on Olympic Torch fraud charge

The 2012 Olympic Torch, Copyright -  LOCOG.
The 2012 Olympic Torch, Copyright - LOCOG.
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A 33-year-old woman sold her husband’s Olympic torch on eBay without his permission but kept the money and failed to send the torch to the buyer when she realised he wouldn’t part with it, a court has heard.

Caroline Hereward of Ashleigh, Great Steeping admitted committing fraud on June 4 by making a false representation to obtain £3,001, intending to keep the money without passing on the goods.

Skegness magistrates heard Hereward’s husband David, who ran Spilsby Judo Club, had been selected as one of the runners to carry the Olympic flame and purchased the torch he had used.

On June 4, Hereward sold her husband’s torch on eBay without his permission for £3,001 to a Stephen Flashman, who sent the money to her but did not receive the torch.

He contacted her and she told him her husband would not let the torch go and that she would return the money, but she didn’t.

She told police she used the money to pay off debts at her husband’s judo club, which has since closed.

In mitigation, Gary Farmer said Hereward was responsible for the household’s finances and because of the debts, unbeknownst to her husband she sold the torch. But her husband had plans to visit schools with the torch and she realised he wouldn’t part with it. She explained to the buyer and told him she would pay back the £3,001 at £100 a week, but he refused and contacted police.

Mr Farmer said Hereward and her husband tried to raise the money but could only raise £1,800 and again made an offer to Mr Flashman, but he refused.

He said she was ashamed, hadn’t been in trouble and the transaction had not been fraudulent at the start. She will be sentenced on November 9.