Emma Greeno. Picture: Norfolk Police

A charity worker has been jailed for two-and-a-half years after stealing £120,000 over seven years.

Emma Greeno, 44 and of Westfield, Narborough, was sentenced at Norwich Crown Court last Thursday after pleading guilty to fraud by abuse of position at an earlier hearing.

The court heard Greeno, who worked as a clerk for the Pentney Charity Trust, abused her position to withdraw a number of payments from the charity’s bank account between 2011 and 2018.

A trustee of the charity was contacted by the Charities Official Investment Fund (COIF) regarding an application to withdraw a sum of money from the Pentney Charity Fund in July 2018.

The trustee questioned the application with the COIF and said the payments should never be withdrawn from the account, the court was told. 

Further suspicions were raised when the charity’s bank statement was reviewed and the trustee asked Greeno for an explanation.

Greeno said the application to withdraw the money was likely to be an error and claimed to have filled in the wrong form, the court heard.

In September 2018, Greeno requested a meeting with the trustee and admitted she had used the charity’s fund to withdraw around £60,000 over a period of three years. She initially claimed to have been blackmailed.

The matter was referred to the police and Greeno was arrested at home on September 26 that year. She was later charged with fraud by abuse of position.

Speaking after the case, DC Andy Flitney said: “I am pleased with this sentence as it reflects the seriousness of Greeno’s crimes and is a positive end to an extensive investigation.

“Greeno used her position within the charity to continually take money from those who needed it the most. 

“I would like to extend my thanks to Pentney Charity Trust for supporting the investigation throughout.”

A Pentney Charity spokesperson said: “The trustees have journeyed through a difficult 20 months since the discovery of the financial irregularities occasioned by the action of the then clerk to the charity.

“We are most grateful to the Norfolk Police Service and the Financial Ombudsman for all their time and assistance in bringing this case before the courts. 

“The charity has been able to carry on its day to day work in supporting those in need in the village of Pentney and although certain projects within the village had to wait for the support the charity had promised, these have now all been honoured.”