BY DAVID V BARRETT
THE CATHOLIC Truth Society’s former accountant was jailed for two years last week for stealing £100,000 from the company.
Robert Grantham, 34, had been fiddling the CTS accounts for two years, using the money to pay the rent on his London home, for holidays and two family weddings, for care for his elderly grandmother and for thousands of pounds’worth of home entertainment equip ment. His theft came to light in June last year when he fell ill and another accountant was brought in to do the accounts for the previous year. In late July Mr Grantham was “dismissed without notice, and with immediate effect, on the grounds of gross misconduct”, said Archbishop Peter Smith of Cardiff, chairman of the board of trustees of the CTS. The CTS notified the Charity Commissioners and the police.
Mr Grantham pleaded guilty to theft and false accounting between January 1 2002 and June 1 2004. Although he claimed that he was shocked by his own behaviour, he told police that he felt he was justified.
He deserved the money, he said, because he had been working twice as hard as his £30,000 a year salary warranted.
“The Catholic Truth Society is a charity, a small firm of publishers,” said Judge Robert Prendergast in sentencing Mr Grantham to two years for theft and a concurrent 18 months for false accounting.
“It depends for its survival on the honesty of its employees, particularly its accountant. It trusted you. You stole from it and spent the money.” Archbishop Smith said: “The Society has obtained judgment in a civil action to try to recover its lost assets.” But honorary treasurer John Dilger told The Catholic Herald this week: “Sadly, we are not likely to recover very much of it.”