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Magistrate spared jail over Gravesend cricket fraud

PUBLISHED: 18:13 04 August 2011

Suspects appear in court

Suspects appear in court

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A magistrate who used her position as treasurer to defraud a cricket club has been spared jail.

Dawn Drabwell, 50, of Dover Road, Northfleet was sentenced to 18 weeks in jail, suspended for two years, when appearing at Southwark Crown Court on Wednesday, after being found guilty of fraud.

The court heard she was sitting as a magistrate on the North Kent circuit when, as treasurer for a cricket club near Gravesend she used the club chequebook to pay off personal debts, for a period of February 2009 to December 2009 stealing more than £2000.

During a review of the club accounts on 18 January 2010, various irregularities were found by another member of the committee, who reported this to police.

Drabwell was arrested three days later on suspicion of committing fraud by abuse of position.

Police carried out a search of her home address and after seizing banking documents investigators discovered 14 cheques signed by Drabwell from the Cricket Club account which were issued for her personal gain.

The total amount stolen was £2120.08 though accounts show in October 2009, she repaid £1,100 in cash into the Cricket Club’s account.

A further £1,300 was paid back a week later.

Detective Constable Geoff McCreery from Kent Police’s Major Crime department said: “Those who sit in public office are expected to have integrity and high standards. “This was not the case with Dawn Drabwell. She systematically used an account she had access to in a position of trust, to make payments for personal gain. Kent Police investigate all reports of fraud and will bring offenders who commit these crimes before the courts.”

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