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'She was just a normal person from the village': charity chairman reacts after £120k defraud sentencing

The chairman of a charity has spoken about how a woman sentenced for stealing thousands of pounds always seemed to be efficient in her role in his eyes.

Emma Greeno was sentenced earlier this month at Norwich Crown Court to two years and six months in prison after it was found she had withdrawn £120,000 from the Pentney Charity Trust over a period of seven years.

Chairman Richard Stevens said Greeno had worked in a secretarial position for five years at the charity.

Emma Greeno. Picture: Norfolk Police
Emma Greeno. Picture: Norfolk Police

Mr Stevens added: "We did not expect it at all. She was a local lass who lived in the village for ages so she was taken on on that sort of basis. She was just a normal person from the village and as a secretary she was quite efficient and good.

"The police have done a fantastic job. The amount of work PC Flitney (detective constable Andy Flitney) has done throughout the case, you would think it was a Bank of England raid. A lot of time and effort has gone into this."

The charity has had most of the money returned but the police are still investigating to see if there is any money which is unaccounted for.

Greeno, aged 44 and of Westfields, was arrested at her home in the village in September 2018 and was later charged with fraud by abuse of position ahead of her court appearance.

A trustee had originally contacted the Charities Official Investment Fund regarding an application to withdraw a sum from the charity. The matter was referred to Norfolk Police after the trustee had asked for an explanation from Greeno.

Mr Stevens, chairman of three years, said: "I think people were surprised at the sentence, but apart from that I don't think people knew too much. It's been two years since we originally found out and we did not want to publicise it so no one seemed to be aware until the court case."

Mr Stevens said the charity has a turnover of roughly £25,000 every year with five trustees all working from home.

The charity cater for villagers of all ages where there is a need, whether this is studying materials for university students or funeral grants.

Those who have had to travel to Norwich hospital rather than Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital have also been supported in the village.

The chairman said: "We divvy out jobs to keep it going. The biggest time is Christmas where we send fuel grants to a lot of the villagers. They can top it up and that takes quite a lot of time to organise.

"The Pentney Charity Trust is for people living in Pentney, we do not go outside the area. It's for the poor people in Pentney. The charity goes right back, it's a couple of hundred-years-old. It merged with a couple of others over time but it has been running just as the one charity."

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