Channel 5 “Do the right thing” on tonight…Featuring dogs.

Former Doglost co-ordinator Sue Smith tells her story tonight at 9pm on Channel 5.

Charity fraud can have catastrophic affects not only on the intended beneficiaries of a charity, but also on the dedicated people who devote their lives to good work. This is something Sue Smith, knows only too well. Sue and her husband, Peter, set up K9 Crusaders in 2002. A shared passion for dogs inspired the couple’s mission to rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome needy dogs. With capacity for up to fifty canines, the Truro-based charity also provides long-term care for dogs who are unable to be rehomed. Over the years K9 Crusaders has cared for more than 3,000 animals.

 

Tragically, Peter became very ill with cancer and dementia in 2007. Besides running K9 Crusaders, Sue cared for her husband full-time. Fragile and exhausted, Sue was befriended by a lady called Katrina Jones on dogs’ forums. Jones said she had been volunteering for other dog charities and offered to help Sue with her workload. Unbeknownst to Sue, Jones was a wanted woman; in 2004 she’d appeared on Crimewatch after swindling three businessmen out of £394,000 and had then fled to Australia. Five years later, she returned to the UK with a new identity. Jones convinced Sue that she was an accountant and insolvency practitioner, ensconced herself as a financial expert and assumed the role of K9 Crusaders treasurer at K9 Crusaders, gaining control of the charity’s finances.

 

In December 2010, Peter passed away, with Sue nursing him until the very end. Sue battled to keep going, running the charity with undiminished care for the dogs. Jones saw her opportunity to take advantage of a grieving Sue, installing her partner as a trustee of K9 Crusaders and proceeding to slowly siphon tens of thousands of pounds from the charity. Sue became suspicious of Jones in 2014, and her doubts were confirmed when bailiffs demanded payments for an unpaid bill. Sue realised that that Jones had purchased personal items using the charity’s account and called the police.

 

By the summer, criminal investigations discovered that Jones had diverted funds from the sale of Sue’s house and the charity, gambling the money away. Police traced £80k stolen from K9 Crusaders, although Sue believes the figure is actually £212k. In 2015, Jones pleaded guilty to more than 29 offences relating to over £500k and was jailed for six years. Jones, now 59, has since been released after serving half her sentence. She has not repaid any of the stolen money from K9 Crusaders. Whilst Sue has kept the charity going, it has been a daily struggle, and a hand to mouth existence. Now that Jones is a free woman, Sue is worried that she could re-offend and so wants to raise awareness to stop this from happening, warning others of the dangers of unscrupulous fraudsters.

 

K9 Crusaders is a Registered Charity no: 1138278. If you would like to donate, fundraise or adopt a dog from K9 Crusaders, please visit their website at http://www.caninecrusaders.org.

5 Comments

  1. nickyb 2 months ago

    some evil humans on this earth. i sent a donation when i read about this last year. i do hope they still get financial support and volunteer support.

  2. GeorgyPorgy 2 months ago

    Ridiculous sentence considering she has done this before then to only serve 3 yrs adds insult to injury. These people should be forced to recompense their victims & the law should include this with the sentencing with police & court enforcement. Just makes my blood boil.
    I also made a donation previously & hope the good work that Sue does is able to continue.

  3. Jayne
    Jayne 2 months ago

    Sorry meant to say about 30 minutes into the programme.

  4. patlucky 2 months ago

    Sadly I cannot watch it as I have not got something needed to watch it.
    A lovely lady who deserves the best.
    Always helped rescue dogs yet some nasty piece of work comes along and ruins Sue’s life.
    Yet justice has not been done.
    The armpit gets 6 years serves 3 and is out.
    Lets hope her face is well remembered to save other people going through the same.

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