THE treasurer of a west Wales charity has been given a 12 month suspended sentence after pleading guilty to stealing money from the charity he helped run.

Lee Squelch, 36, from Llanddewi Velfrey, was found guilty of stealing money from horse charity Pembrokeshire Byways and Bridleways Association.

Squelch pleaded guilty to stealing from the charity at Swansea Crown Court on Friday, April 30.

Squelch stole from the charity by writing cheques to himself.

Byways and Bridleway is an organisation which works to improve access to the bridleways in west Wales.

Squelch wrote the cheques to himself then attempted to cover his tracks by making it look like the payments were donations to organisations including the Wales Air Ambulance and Royal British Legion.


Squelch put names of charities on the cheque stubs to make it look like they were donations.

Squelch was caught when he tried to transfer money to his own account.

It is estimated that over a three year period Squelch stole up to £6,300

Squelch was treasurer of the charity holding a position of responsibility and trust in helping run the organisation.

Squelch pleaded guilty for four counts of fraud between 2016 and 2018.

He was previously cautioned for fraud in December 2018 which related to dishonesty shown in a job interview.

Mitigating for Squelch, Dyfed Thomas said the father-of-two had health issues and was willing to abide to any court orders made.

Sentencing Squelch, Judge Paul Thomas QC said the offending had not been a “spur of the moment lapse” and “fundamental dishonesty” had been shown.

Squelch was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for 18 months, and was ordered to complete a rehabilitation course and 150 hours of unpaid work.