Charity embezzler sent to prison

02/20/07 -- BBC News
 WA former charity worker Neil Gillies who admitted embezzling money from groups supporting suicide awareness and grieving families has been jailed for a year.
Neil Gillies, from Glasgow, was also ordered to pay £3,500 in compensation.

Inverness Sheriff Court was earlier told that Gillies had forged an MSP's signature to make a fraudulent application to a bank.

Sheriff Alasdair MacFadyen said there was no appropriate alternative to prison for the 51-year-old.

The court heard how Gillies had used Mary Scanlon, a list MSP at the time, as a reference for funding of £221,772 in 2003.

He also admitted embezzling money from a suicide awareness charity and a support group for grieving families in the Highlands and Islands.

Sheriff MacFadyen said: "The gravity of the offences - the abuse of support by the holder of a public office and the breach of trust shown - are such that the alternative to custody is not appropriate."

Sentence on Gillies, of Meadowside Quay Walk, Glasgow, had been deferred for a month.

Gillies set up a support group with his wife after their son Kevin died in a road accident on the Isle of Skye in 1999.

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