We trusted former mayor who stole our cash, says Carlisle club boss - Monday 9th of February 2009

The secretary of a Carlisle club which a former city mayor stole £38,000 from said they trusted her because of her background.

Jayne Yeomans, 49, – mayor from 1993 to 1994 – admitted stealing the cash from the South End Constitutional Club when she appeared before magistrates yesterday.

She took the money to fund a gambling habit and later tried to commit suicide when her crimes came to light.

Frank Nugent, secretary of the St Nicholas Street club, said: “Jayne has caused so much disappointment.

“People had implicit trust in her because of her background as mayor and she used that to steal money.

“There is a general disbelief about what has happened amongst members and the committee.

“It didn’t dawn on anyone that she could possibly do such a thing.”

Mr Nugent said the club committee called police in after he became suspicious when the takings did not match the amounts banked.

He added: “I brought it to a head because I realised that there was something serious going on.

“The procedures that were in place were not working.

“We were lucky to still have reasonable reserves which meant that the club could keep on going.

“If we had been running day to day we would have had to close the club.

“It is hard enough in the economic climate.”

Yeomans – known by her maiden name of Prewitt when she was mayor – admitted stealing £38,726.97 at Carlisle Magistrates Court yesterday.

She also pleaded guilty to a charge of forging her husband’s signature to obtain a second mortgage on their home of £25,000.

Yeomans, now of Carronshore in Falkirk, first joined the city council in 1983 and represented the Harraby ward for a year.

She then served as a councillor for Upperby from 1984, took over as mayor from 1993 to 1994 and left the council in 1996.

She was the Custodian of the Steward at the South End club and ran the bar for seven to eight years, also taking control of the club’s banking and finances, a highly responsible position that demonstrated the level of trust among members and the club committee, said Mr Nugent.

When her theft was rumbled she attempted to take her own life leaving a suicide note and confession, the court heard.

Mr Nugent said he received a personalised version, as did other people connected to the club. “When it all came to light she sent me a suicide letter and at first I felt guilty,” he said.

“But then this turned to anger when I realised how manipulative she had been.”

The club has not been able to recover the money that was stolen.

Yeomans’ case has been committed to Carlisle Crown Court where the ex-mayor will face a judge for sentence on March 6.

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