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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 18 March, 2003, 10:25 GMT
Conned charity apologises
Nicholas Walker
Nicholas Walker used blank cheques
A Helston charity has apologised to fundraisers for failing to realise that its own clerk was stealing money from its funds.

Former solicitor Nicholas Walker was jailed for five years after admitting stealing 300,000 from the Helston Downsland Charities.

On Monday night about 100 people turned up at a public meeting to question the trustees, who are also town councillors.

The charity said it was now reviewing the way it operates.

But a former trustee, Keith Reynolds, said he was disappointed with some of the responses.

"How on earth could such a large fraud had gone on for 20 months, with none of the trustees picking it up?

"I'm afraid the answer that I came away with, is that no-one is interested."

Walker, 67, who had been struck off and had already served a prison sentence for theft, was the charity's clerk for three years.

During the court case, his defence counsel claimed the charity's trustees were "too trusting" and had signed blank cheques which Walker had then used.

The charity is now seeking compensation from its bank and an investment management company for the way in which their finances were handled.

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