Suffolk: Former council boss’s daughter-in-law spared jail over credit-card fraud

A FORMER Suffolk County Council chairman’s daughter-in-law, who admitted dishonestly using his credit card to do her own shopping, has walked free from court after being ordered to do 200 hours’ unpaid work in the community.

Dawn Mangar, 46, of Levington Lane, Bucklesham, pleaded guilty to eight offences of fraud by falsely representing she had the authority to use a credit card belonging to Harold Mangar over the Christmas period between December 2010 and January 2011.

Mr Mangar, who was chairman of Suffolk County Council from 2002 to 2003, has also been a leading campaigner for racial equality for many years.

Michael Crimp, prosecuting, told Ipswich Crown Court that Mr Mangar was in his 70s and had health difficulties.

After it was noticed that money was missing from his bank account he told police he had paid Dawn Mangar to do his cleaning and had given her his credit card details and PIN so she could do odd bits of shopping for him.

Mr Mangar said he didn’t mind her buying a few items for herself and not paying him back but said he hadn’t given her permission to do her shopping on his credit card.

Mr Crimp said Mangar accepted using her father-in-law’s credit card to buy food and Christmas presents for her family which she wasn’t authorised to do.

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He said purchases included a �30 Chinese take-away meal and �30 on ladies’ clothing.

The court heard that in 2005 Mangar was jailed for four months for benefit fraud.

Sentencing her to a two-year community order, two years’ supervision by the probation service and 200 hours’ unpaid work in the community, Judge Peter Fenn said the custody threshold hadn’t been crossed because of the low value of the goods and the short period of time over which the offences had been committed.

He also ordered her to pay Mr Mangar �300 compensation within six months.

David Wood, for Mangar, said she had permission to use the credit card to a certain extent and accepted she used it for her own benefit over a short period when money was tight.

He said the total amount of goods obtained by Mangar with the credit card was around �300.

Mr Mangar is a former Labour councillor for Bridge Ward, a county councillor and has also been a director of the Ipswich and Suffolk Commission for Racial Equality.

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