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Police officer jailed for fraud

A Durham County police officer has been jailed for 8 months after pleading guilty to fraud.

Darren Hart, 41, forged his father's will to stop his wife from inheriting anything.

Mr Hart was in the middle of divorce proceedings when his father died in 2011.

Ronald Hart left £43,000 and no will. But he had left a note saying he did not want his son's wife to benefit.

Darren Hart got a friend, Peter Atkinson, 27, to sign the note to make it look like a legal document.

Mr Atkinson went to the police weeks later and confessed what they had done.

Darren Hart from High Green, Darlington, who has since resigned from the force, was jailed for eight months.

Peter Atkinson from Mickleton, Barnard Castle, was given a five months jail sentence, suspended for 12 months and 20 hours unpaid work.

Children's cancer charity con

A woman who conned thousands of pounds out of people by claiming to raise money for a children's cancer charity has been jailed.

Katie Baldwin claimed she was doing a sponsored run for a children's cancer ward at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead.

The 25-year-old collected £2,000 from hundreds of households going door-to-door, and had been pledged a further £4,500. Newcastle Crown Court heard neither the running event nor the children's ward at that hospital actually existed.

Baldwin, of Kells Lane, Gateshead, pleaded guilty to fraud at an earlier hearing.

At Newcastle Crown Court today (Friday) Baldwin, who is now a carer to her father who is terminally ill with cancer, was sentenced to to six months in prison.

"Perhaps now, with your father in that terrible position, you realise exactly how meanyou acted when you committed this fraud. What you did undermines the giving of money by people to charitable organisations who rely upon that good will."

– Mr Recorder Dean Kershaw
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