Teenager jailed after stealing £600 from Runcorn charity Date published: 11th October 2018 1.11pm

A teenager from Widnes who stole £600 from a Runcorn charity has been jailed.

Connor Southern appeared at Warrington Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 25 September, where he was sentenced to 16 weeks in a young offenders’ institution after pleading guilty to three counts of fraud on one count of burglary.

He was also ordered to repay all of the money he had stolen.

Southern, 19, of Standish Court, Widnes, was a volunteer for the Canal Boat Adventure Project based at the Lord’s Taverners Woodside Youth Centre in Runcorn.

As a valued member of the canal boat-based social inclusion project for young people, Southern had been given extra responsibilities, meaning that he knew the security codes for the building and also the PIN numbers of the charity’s bank cards.

On Sunday 11 January 2018 the charity had been open as normal, closing shortly after 6.30pm.

However, unbeknown to all of the volunteers, while they had been working Southern had sneaked into the building and hidden in a cupboard.

After everyone had left the building Southern got out of the cupboard and quickly deactivated the alarm. He then forced entry into the office, from where he stole the charity’s bank card.

Southern then fled the scene and subsequently withdrew £600 from the charity’s account at three locations across Runcorn.

PC Dawn Taylor said: “To stoop so low as to target a charity is a despicable offence and I welcome the custodial sentence that has been handed to Southern.

“The Canal Boat Adventure Project provided an invaluable service to the local community; offering young people the opportunity to learn new skills and meet new people.

“The people who ran the charity welcomed Southern into the team and trusted him, helping him to develop new skills for his future.

“However he abused this trust and instead used it for his own personal gain."