December 7 2013 Latest news:
Friday, September 13, 2013
The former treasurer of a Suffolk naval veterans’ organisation has been jailed for 18 months today after embezzling £78,000 from the club.
Martin Foster had previously admitted two counts of fraud by abuse of position when he was in charge of the accounts for HMS Ganges Association.
The organisation’s membership is made up from people who served at the former naval base in Shotley Gate. Most of the members are now pensioners.
The disgraced 54-year-old Foster, of Haig Road, Uxbridge, Middlesex, was jailed at his Portsmouth Crown Court sentencing by Recorder Timothy Mousley.
He was arrested last year after an investigation carried out by Hampshire police.
The inquiry began after debit card transactions of £4,200 and cash machine withdrawals totalling £74,000 were made from the association’s bank accounts between August 2010 and June 2012.
Before his arrest Foster had reportedly told last year’s HMS Ganges Association’s annual general meeting that the accounts were in good order.
At the time the theft was discovered it was said to have led to many members lost faith in the association. However the organisation’s committee said it has now overcome the financial difficulties and the association was moving forward once again.
The HMS Ganges Association has more than 3,500 members who were stationed in Shotley Gate during their naval careers.
Membership fees during Foster’s tenure reportedly brought in around £30,000 a year.
The training base opened in 1905, closed in 1976 and has remained derelict.
Membership is open to all personnel who were on the books of HMS Ganges, HMS St George and HMS Bruce.
The ages of the association’s members range from 100 to those still serving in the Royal Navy.