Exclusive: In March 2016 LW reported on an unusual situation whereby Tower Hamlets council had paid £300,000 in funds to Docklands Handicapped Group – a charity that did not exist – for a period of ten years. . A council investigation into this is underway.
As reported records for Docklands Handicapped Group give an address of Saunders Ness Road, E14 – the home address of Kathy McTasney.
At the time of our original report sources informed LW that Ms. McTasney had previous convictions for charity fraud in the past, but as we did not have documentary evidence of this at the time we did not publish this.
Stealing handicapped children’s holiday money
We now have the report from the East London Advertiser circa 1985 (below) reporting how Ms. McTasney was sentenced at the Old Bailey for cheque fraud and dishonestly obtaining and misappropriating £1,000 intended for a holiday in Spain for handicapped children.
Full text below image.
Text of original ELA story
Woman pilfered ‘handicapped’ cash
A mother of five who pilfered money intended for mentally handicapped children was given a suspended sentence at the Old Bailey on Tuesday.
Mrs. Kathleen McTasney, 39, whose own daughter [REDACTED] 13 is seriously mentally handicapped, was sentenced to 12 month jail suspended for two years.
In the two years from April 1982 McTasney of Saundersness Road, Millwall, forged 35 cheques, the court heard.
She was a founder and treasurer of the Tower Hamlets Junior Gateway Club, based in Coburn Road, Bow which provides facilities and organises outings for mentally handicapped children.
She pleaded guilty to a sample three charges of forging cheques and not guilty to another three.
McTasney also pleaded guilty to dishonestly obtaining and misappropriating £1,000, intended for a holiday in Spain for the children.
Miss Joanna Greenberg, prosecuting, said McTasney had written to the Docklands Development Corporation and had received a £1,000 grant for the holiday.
“Tower Hamlets Society for Mentally Handicapped Children had already put forward the money for the 12 handicapped children, and their families were paying for themselves,” said Miss Greenberg.
Counsel added that it was uncertain exactly how much McTasney had pocketed while she was the treasurer.
McTasney had forged and cashed cheques, and also used club funds, to pay for personal items, such as furniture.
But defending counsel Miss Jean Southworth QC, said that McTasney had occasionally used club money to recoup expenses incurred during her voluntary work.
She said: “Her book-keeping is pathetic. What she did was naughty rather than criminal.”
McTasney had continued with her charity work since she was charged by police in July, 1984.
“It is only just recently that her efforts alone raised £2,400 for a special computer to assist mentally handicapped children,” said Miss Southworth
Comment by Ms. McTasney
On being contacted by LW for comment on the ELA news item above Miss McTasney said: “I have now sent this to my barrister for me to comment.”
Comment by Tower Hamlets council
Tower Hamlets council have been asked to provide an update on the enquiry into payments to the Docklands Handicapped Group.
This had not been received at the time of publication. Update 19:04hrs 26 May 2016 statement below:
A council spokesperson said: “The investigation into the arrangements between the council and DHG is active and ongoing and remains a high priority for the council.
The care and support needs of the individual concerned have been reviewed in line with council policy and agreed in line with financial regulations. Arrangements for paying for this care and support will (as of Friday 3 June) transfer from DHG to the family as a Direct Payment in line with the council’s scheme.”
While 1985 is a long time ago we consider that it is in the public interest to publish this information to provide borough residents with the full context of the original story.