A treasurer of a Lancashire branch of the Unite union has been jailed for 20 months after he stole monies due to be given to charities.

Heath List, 49, wrote 283 cheques to himself and family members totalling £53,000 to finance school fees, the upkeep of a pony for his daughter and three holidays a year, in one instance stealing £2,000 destined for the Japanese tsunami appeal to pay for a family ski holiday. Preston Crown Court heard that List started defrauding in 2003 after his wife was seriously injured in a car accident and unable to work, although she still retained her head teacher’s salary which gave the family a household income of nearly £100,000 a year.

Recorder Nicholas Clarke QC told List: “You chose to live a lavish lifestyle, well beyond your means. The offences were born out of greed and they were particularly mean”.

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