Blind World Magazine

England.
Boss stole 40,000 from the blind.




i c Liverpool (UK).
Tuesday, March 21, 2006.

Exclusive By Gregg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo.




The former salesman plundered the Talking Newspapers charity coffers leaving it on the brink of collapse.


The father-of-one pleaded guilty to 12 charges of theft from the Speke-based charity, which records newspapers onto audio tape for visually impaired people.


Harvey, 47, of Ashtree Grove, Croxteth, carried out the offences while acting as treasurer last year and now faces a prison sentence after appearing at Liverpool crown court.


Harrow-born Harvey first volunteered as a handyman with the charity after his own business making office computer furniture failed.


After carrying out odd-jobs at their headquarters in the Speke education and training centre, on Speke Boulevard, he eventually became treasurer when the previous elderly volunteer stepped down.


It is from then that Harvey is accused of stealing the money from the charity's bank account. He was able to take advantage because many of the charity committee are also visually impaired.


Talking Newspapers, which is almost entirely run by blind volunteers, helps bring the local and national news to blind people across Liverpool.


Many of the people helped by the charity are elderly and house-bound. A spokesman for the charity confirmed that more than 40,000 was stolen and the charity was left on the brink of bankruptcy.


He said: "He was quite charming at first but was actually making a mockery of our trust all the time.


"If the bank hadn't given us the cash back we would have folded. It was a cruel, cruel thing to do."


Harvey was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on May 15.



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