Woman who fraudulently sold Olympic Torch on eBay gets suspended sentence at Skegness Magistrates’ Court

A 2012 Olympic Torch. Copyright - LOCOG.
A 2012 Olympic Torch. Copyright - LOCOG.

A Great Steeping woman who fraudlently sold her husband’s Olympic Torch on eBay, but never gave it to the buyer, has received a suspended sentence for the crime.

Caroline Hereward, 33, of Ashleigh, Great Steeping, had previously admitted commiting fraud on June 4 by making a false representation to obtain £3,001, intending to keep the money without passing on the torch.

Appearing at Skegness Magistrates’ Court today (Friday), she was sentenced to to four weeks in custody, suspended for 12 months and ordered to pay £3,003.50p in compensation.

The magistrates had previously heard how 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 or knowledge for £3,001 to a Stephen Flashman, who sent the money to her but did not receive the torch.

Flashman 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 earlier 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.