Former employee charged over alleged theft of funds from Hailsham Memorial Institute

Police investigating an alleged theft of charity funds and money from the Hailsham Memorial Institute have charged a suspect.

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 1:07 pm
The Hailsham Memorial Institute. Photo: Google Streetview

Jeanette Gardner, 62, of Meadow Road, Hailsham, a former employee of the organisation, has been charged with two counts of fraud by abuse of position, two counts of theft by employee and one count of making a false instrument, a police spokesman confirmed.

She is due to appear before Hastings Magistrates Court on 26 May, said police.

The Hailsham Memorial Institute is a family social club based in Western Road, Hailsham.

It has a fully licenced bar and holds regular live entertainment and events.

In a statement posted on its Facebook page last month, Andy Padmore, chair of the committee, said trustees and officers of the Hailsham Memorial Institute (HMI) were aware of the police investigation into the allegations but were unable to comment further while the investigation was underway.

He said: “We recognise people will be as concerned as we are, however I would like to reassure all of our members and the wider community in Hailsham of our full and ongoing co-operation with all aspects of the investigation.

“I can also reassure everybody that the HMI has continued to thrive financially, despite the effects of several lockdowns caused by the pandemic.”

Trustee Colin Angior said: “In 1920 the HMI was gifted to people of Hailsham by the family of Victor Ewart Green, who gave his life fighting for his country in 1917.

“Since then the club has provided a focal point for families in the town and we are very proud of the role it plays in the local and wider community, both in Hailsham and the surrounding area.

“The HMI boasts some fantastic facilities, including county-standard snooker tables and first class dart boards, and we are able to show live sports on our big screen and on numerous other screens throughout the club.”

Mr Padmore added: “If the Government’s roadmap continues on its present course then the trustees, officers and committee and staff are really looking forward to welcoming back our members and their guests on May 17.

“We are also looking forward to celebrating the club’s centenary, which had to be postponed last year due to the pandemic.

“The HMI is in good hands and the future looks bright!”