Charity trickster is jailed

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The Independent Online
A woman who set up a fake charity and collected pounds 10,000 from people who thought their money was going to a children's unit at a hospital was jailed for six months. Muriel Spence, 57, of South Shields, Tyne and Wear, wrote to officials at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead, asking if she could help to raise money for its children's unit, Newcastle Crown Court was told.

Armed with a consultant's letter expressing interest in her idea, Spence sent a team of bogus collectors dressed in Santa Claus outfits to pubs and clubs.