‘Despicable’ woman who stole more than £90k from Bristol charity jailed

Bristol Crown Court
Tracy Parsons was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court on Tuesday 10 October Credit: BPM Media

A woman who stole more than £94,000 from a Bristol charity has been jailed.

Tracy Parsons, of Newport, was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court on Tuesday 10 October after she pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position, false accounting, and money laundering.

Parsons was working at a Bristol-based charity from 2005 in different roles before becoming the HR and finance manager. In July 2016 she started taking money from the charity.

Parsons carried out 54 fraudulent transactions between 2016 and December 2020, totalling more than £94,000.

To try and cover up her crimes, Parsons provided the charity with falsified bank statements and paperwork.

Her crimes were uncovered when the charity carried out an audit which found discrepancies. When she was asked to explain the discrepancies, she confessed to taking the money. 

A statement from the charity said: "The loss came at the time of the pandemic when our future was very uncertain. This left the charity in an extremely vulnerable position.

"We were fundamentally shaken. The CEO was the victim of duplicitous behaviour and was directly lied to for years."

Parsons used the money to pay off debt and for general living purposes.

The deputy senior investigating officer, DS Louise Sinclair from the fraud team, said: "Parsons actions were against a charity which worked to better the lives of the community it served by planning community events, providing safe spaces and allowing people to connect and come together.

 "She stole over a number of years and abused the trust afforded to her by the charity, its users and donors.

"Her actions are despicable and I hope this sentence will give the community some solace that she is being held responsible for what she has done."

She was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison. A Proceeds of Crime hearing will follow in due course to look at recovering some of the funds.