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Funeral director who stole from grieving families avoids jail

Alison Pople persuaded families to donate £14,000 to charities - but kept the money for herself

A Somerset funeral director who admitted stealing money donated from grieving families and charities had avoided a jail sentence.

Alison Pople asked the bereaved for charitable donations in memory of their loved ones - but kept the money for herself.

She also sent the victims fake thank you letters, pretending to be the charities they donated to.

In court she was given a 15 month sentence, suspended for two years.

A letter purporting to be from Weston Hospice Care

The charities included Help for Heroes, Weston Hospice Care and the Alzheimer's Society.

In total she received £14,000 intended for the charities
Alison Pople was a respected undertaker who stole 'from the most vulnerable and weakest members of society' Credit: Irving of Exeter

In sentencing, Judge David Ticehurst told the disgraced undertaker:

”Those charities do good work for the most vulnerable in society who need our support.

“Retaining that money was stealing from the most vulnerable and weakest members of society.”

He said Pople, from Cheddar, Somerset, had abused the trust of relatives.

You have lost any reputation and respect you previously enjoyed in that community. You will have to live with the shame and guilt for the rest of your life.

– Judge David Ticehurst