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Sunday, 7 April, 2002, 14:10 GMT 15:10 UK
Charity worker charged with theft
Steven Messham
Steven Messham was first questioned in February 2001
A charity worker from north Wales has been charged with theft, deception and false accounting.

Steve Messham, from Wrexham, was arrested and questioned after thousands of pounds allegedly went missing from a sex abuse victim support group.

Child
The charity was set up to help victims of abuse

It follows a police investigation into the running of the group set up to help victims of one of Britain's biggest sex abuse scandals.

Thousands of pounds of public money was used to help set up NORWAS (North Wales Abuse Survivors).

Its aim was to help people who were abused as youngsters in children's homes in north Wales.

But in February 2001, police were called in to investigate the running of the organisation.

'Missing' money

Mr Messham, the group's chairman, was arrested and questioned over the alleged theft of the organisation's assets.

The 39-year-old now faces five charges - two of theft, two of deception and one of false accounting.

Sir Ronald Waterhouse
Sir Ronald Waterhouse led the homes inquiry

The theft charges involve 29,960, the deception charges 14,865, and the false accounting charge 18,997.

Mr Messham is due to appear before Wrexham magistrates on Wednesday.

NORWAS was set up to provide help and guidance to abuse victims who were due to give evidence to the public inquiry conducted by Sir Ronald Waterhouse.

His report - Lost in Care - was published in February 2000.

It revealed "appalling mistreatment" of children in residential care at various homes in North Wales.

Sir Ronald made more than 70 recommendations for improvement, including the appointment of a children's commissioner for Wales.


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