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Suspended jail term for wife of Lincoln torchbearer over fraud

David Hereward, 33, from Spilsby, carried the Olympic Torch through Lincoln on June 27

The wife of a Lincoln Olympic torchbearer sold the item for £3,000 on eBay without her husband’s permission but then changed her mind and kept the money from the sale in a bid to save his ailing judo club.

Caroline Hereward was sentenced on Friday at Skeness Magistrates Courts to four weeks suspended jail term, suspended for 12 months. She has to pay £3,003.50 compensation to the eBay buyer and must also stay at her current address for a year.

Mrs Hereward’s husband David was nominated to run through Lincoln with the torch in June because of the good charitable work he did at the club in Spilsby, which has since closed. But when the club fell into debt, she decided that selling the torch would ease the problem and she put it on the internet auction site.

However, the buyer never received the torch after he parted with his money. When police investigated the matter Mrs Hereward was obstructive. She was asked where the torch was. She said she had given it away but shortly after her arrest, it was found at her home on the kitchen table.

In court she admitted fraud committed on or about August 2, 2012, in that she dishonestly made false representations that an Olympic torch was hers to sell when it was not.

In sentencing, the judge said this was a deliberate act with planning and organisation and that the nature of the item involved and the emotions that would be aroused by her actions are the reason for a custodial sentence.