Bus driver on theft charge

Trevor Roberts - Managing Director of Blackpool Transport

Trevor Roberts - Managing Director of Blackpool Transport

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A BUS driver will appear before the courts next month over allegations he stole nearly £17,000 from Blackpool Transport’s staff benevolence fund.

Police launched an investigation after staff union bosses discovered the cash was missing from the account for the Unite Benevolence Fund.

A 52-year-old man, from Blackpool, has now been summonsed to appear at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court on September 12 to face allegations of theft.

Staff who had pumped their hard earned cash into the scheme said they “felt sick” to think money has been taken.

The fund, which was built up by workers who paid 20p a week into it, helps colleagues who are ill, retiring or have been made redundant with financial support.

It is understood the fund is run by employee representatives.

“Although contributions are taken out of pay packets, it is not directly connected to Blackpool Transport.

Financial investigators were drafted in to help the police with the inquiry and they have now submitted a report.

A police spokesman said: “A 52-year-old man has been reported for summons for an alleged offence of theft.

“Back in March he was interviewed on a voluntary basis. As a result of that he has then been reported for summons.

“The alleged offence is theft between January 1, 2004 and October 6, 2010. It relates to a figure of nearly £17,000.”

When The Gazette initially broke the news of the missing money last November, one worker said: “People are absolutely livid to hear this money has gone.

“We’ve heard cheques have been cashed from the account and now it has all gone.

“Staff are very angry.”

Another worker, who did not wish to be named, said: “It makes me feel sick to think money I have put into that fund in good faith has just been taken.”

Trevor Roberts (pictured), director for Blackpool Transport, said: “We understand someone has been summonsed regarding money disappearing from the Unite Benevolence Fund.”