A North Yorkshire ex-charity trustee has walked free from court despite pocketing almost £27,000 from a privatised probation organisation.

Hugh Morgan Williams took £26,966  from Durham and Tees Valley Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) while he was chairman.

The Cabinet Office may now decide his conviction could mean he should forfeit his OBE, which was granted in June 2008. 

Teesside Crown Court heard how the 70-year-old used personal contacts with a private company he had links to, to procure contracts for DTVCRC and took ten per cent of the contract value for his own personal use without the knowledge of the board.

During the investigation, it was discovered that Williams had attempted to have entries deleted on invoices with the name DTVCRC on them prior to his invoices being submitted to the company for payment.

Williams, of North Riding Rise, Thornton-le-Moor, near Thirsk, pleaded guilty to fraud between January 1, 2015, and February 1, 2016, relating to his time at the CRC, during a brief hearing.

He received an OBE in June 2008 for services to business in the North East and North Yorkshire Police has confirmed that the honours department of the Cabinet Office have been made aware of his hearing with a view to a request to have this forfeited.

The officer in charge of the case, Detective Constable Fraud Investigator, Emma Harris said: “Mr Morgan Williams was trusted with money from the public purse. He has abused the trust placed on him to safeguard the interests of DTVCRC and his position in order to make financial gain for himself.

“This sends a message that no matter what your position, if you commit these offences, you will be found out and brought to justice.”

Morgan-Williams was sentenced to 17 months in prison suspended for 12 months.

He was appointed non-executive chair of the Durham and Tees Valley Community Rehabilitation Company in 2015.

Charges relating to his time as a trustee of Cowesby Charity, which helps people in and around Cowesby near Thirsk, were dropped by the prosecution.

The disgraced former charity trustee was also chairman of the Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust.