By Will Finch
Wednesday, 03 October 2012
Steve Taylor, the former head of campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS), last week began a 16-month jail sentence after he was caught embezzling £15,000 of the animal rights group’s money.
A court in Guildford heard how, over a period of nearly two years, Taylor, aged 36, from Tideford in Cornwall, made 333 separate fraudulent transactions on the charity’s credit card.
His actions finally came to light only after he admitted making a false mileage claim. Taylor — who earned a salary at LACS of £41,000 — even bought an iPad as a leaving present for Douglas Batchelor, the outgoing chief executive of the organisation, pocketing for himself the cash raised in a staff whip-round that had been intended to make the purchase.
In 1998, Taylor had previously been jailed for 12 months for obtaining property by deception and forgery in relation to a £12,000 fraud from his then employer.
Judge Christopher Critchlow, when sentencing Taylor, commented: “Those who donate to charities expect the money to go to the charity in question and not the employees.”
Tim Bonner, the Countryside Alliance’s campaigns director told Shooting Times that he had challenged Taylor professionally frequently in the past.
He said: “I have been up against Steve Taylor in numerous broadcast interviews when he has called hunts immoral law breakers. And all the while he was rather busy on that front himself.”
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