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Charlbury School Association - from the Witney Gazette

This week's Witney Gazette reports the following story.

"A treasurer stole more than £15,000 from a West Oxfordshire primary school's fundraisers to pay her household bills.

"Sally Dodman-Edwards, a mother of four, has been told she could be jailed, after magistrates were told she had abused her position as treasurer for Charlbury School Association, using blank cheques.

"The association is a charitable organisation that raises cash for the school, and Dodman-Edwards, 34, cleared out an entire year's takings.

"Gavin Hernandez, prosecuting, told Witney magistrates Dodman-Edwards collected money from fundraising events, raised and banked cheques, and kept the accounts. Last June, it was discovered a large sum was missing. She was asked to resign, and the police were called in.

"Mr Hernandez said it emerged over the course of a year Dodman-Edwards had taken more than £11,000 through making out blank cheques signed by the association chairman and secretary to herself, her husband, and her husband's business, Charlbury Brewing Company. In addition, almost £4,000 was taken from fundraising events.

"Mr Hernandez said: 'She had made out cheques for small amounts and not round figures and had entered them as items such as computer equipment so suspicion would not be raised.'

"Dodman-Edwards, of Woodlands, Ticknell Lane, Charlbury, was arrested in September. She admitted 16 charges of theft and one of forgery.

"Shirlsey Selby, defending, said Dodman-Edwards had used the money towards paying household bills, as the family had been in serious financial difficulties. She had now repaid all the money she took, with interest, and had co-operated fully with police throughout the investigation, expressing remorse for her actions. Dodman-Edwards had also been suffering from depression, Ms Selby added.

"The case was adjourned until next month for a pre-sentence report.

"In a statement, Charlbury School said it regretted the incident and condemned the dishonesty and breach of trust involved. It added: 'The school would like to take this opportunity to state publicly its ongoing and wholehearted support for the committee of the Charlbury School Association and its gratitude for the tireless work carried out by the committee to raise much-needed funds for the school."

Richard Fairhurst · Fri 20 Jan 2006, 18:42 · Link

Lost cat - found

Deanna M Blakeway writes:

"Whilst moving my cat to its new home in Stonesfield, it scampered out the door and has now been lost for over two weeks. I wonder if you would kindly please post the picture and ad in case William has managed to make his way into Charlbury?

"William is a black and white very big, fat cat with a most sweet little face. He is wearing a black leather diamante collar along with a gold plated heart tag. The tag has his name, old home address [in Woodstock] and his owner's mobile telephone number. He was last seen at Sanders House on Churchfields, Stonesfield, in the week before Christmas and we are heartbroken with worry."

"I can be contacted on this mobile number: 07956 905610."

Update: "Good news! We've found William and he's doing well. Skinnier and dehydrated so he's been at vets on a drip (poor darling) but otherwise he's fine.

"Thank you ever so much for posting his details as it was due to these that I received a telephone call from a kind person which led to him being found."

Richard Fairhurst · Fri 13 Jan 2006, 15:37 · Link

Update on neighbourhood policing

At November’s Neighbourhood Action Group (NAG) meeting, the group identified several locations as suffering from anti-social behaviour as a result of youths gathering. The Westgate centre, Chipping Norton, continues to be a problem, and several of the young people involved will now be approached by West Oxfordshire’s Anti-Social Behaviour team in relation to signing up to Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABCs). The level of reported anti-social behaviour at the Spendlove centre, Charlbury, has dropped following the introduction of letters to parents of mis-behaving youths. The NAG is researching the availability of subsidised transport, to enable young people from the more rural villages to travel to events in other areas.
At the public meetings held in October/November, the second priority raised by the community was that of speeding. The NAG is looking at the following locations as potential speeding concern sites;
Spring Street, Worcester Road, Churchill Road & London road, (Chipping Norton). The Slade, Enstone Road, Market Street, Ditchley road & Pound Hill, (Charlbury). Middle Barton to Enstone road. Barton Road, Sandford St Martin. A361, Shipton under Wychwood. Milton under Wychwood. Burford to Ascott link road. Churchill road, Kingham. Parish councils and local residents have proposed the above locations, which will now be assessed to establish the extent of the speeding problem. Each road will be visited by a roadside SID (Speed Indicator Device) operator, and we are still looking for volunteers from the community to help with staffing the SIDs. If you are one of the people who believes speeding to be a problem in your area, then please consider giving up a few hours to help solve it.
Following concerns from the community in relation to the new licensing laws, the neighbourhood team have carried out a number of licensing checks across the area, and found an extremely high rate of compliance. These checks will continue throughout 2006, so please let the neighbourhood team know if you have concerns about specific premises. Over the next few months the neighbourhood team will be assisting with the setting up of pub-watch schemes across the neighbourhood. These will be based on the successful formula employed by the Chipping Norton pubwatch scheme, and we hope that all licensees will want to sign up.
For more information about your local neighbourhood policing team, or to discuss any issues in the community, please contact Sgt Clare Mackintosh on 08458 505 505 or via

Clare Mackintosh · Wed 4 Jan 2006, 20:15 · Link

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