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'Justice has not been done' say Royal British Legion in Borehamwood after Gillian Fowler walks free
Organisers of a charity that lost thousands of pounds to a woman who yesterday walked free from court believe justice has not been done.
Gillian Fowler, 71, of Tallis Way in Borehamwood, was yesterday given 21 months in jail suspended for 21 months when she appeared at St Albans Crown Court.
She pleaded guilty to stealing £10,659 from the Royal British Legion in Shenley Road, where she was treasurer for three years.
Fowler stole half of the club’s £6,600 membership fees for 2012-13, which she had been trusted to bank, walking away with £3279, three quarters of which was cash.
She also forged the signature of the British Legion’s chairman David Lowther to cash eight cheques between April and August last year, totalling £7,380.
In sentencing her, Judge Warner said she deserved to go to prison for her “thoroughly mean” crimes, however her age and poor mental and physical health led him suspend the sentence.
Chairman of the women’s section of the Royal British Legion Pat Lowther, described the lenient sentence as “sickening”.
She said: “The judge let her off paying compensation because she doesn’t have any money, but the money she received from her pensions is quite a lot more than I and my husband get between us.”
Her husband Mr Lowther, said: “The thing is we trusted Gill. We’re not happy about this sentence at all. I think the court should have used her to set an example.
“Now people will think they can steal from charities like ours and get away with it.”
Vice-chairman of the British Legion Dennis Stilwell said he felt “justice had not been done”.
He added: “I am 70 and I’m not in that good health and am on quite a lot of medication but I would have gone to prison had I been guilty of what she has done.
“The worst thing is, if she’d told us she was in difficult financial circumstances we would have done something to help her. Now it’s too late.”
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