A FORMER Cardigan Castle director who pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and theft totalling over £40,000 has been handed a suspended sentence.

Former director, Jac Davies, pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and theft and was due to be sentenced on Wednesday (May 4) at Swansea Crown Court – but the case was delayed.

Davies who held the £40,000 a year post fraudulently obtained £33,098.75 and stole a further £7,932.97 from the award winning restoration project.

While sentencing the married father of two, Judge Paul Thomas branded Davies a “despicable”.

Referring to an incident where Davies has sworn on his daughters life, who was ill in hospital at the time, that he had not taken any money – he said: “Despicable. You swore on her life that you had not taken any of the money. That, Mr Davies, was completely despicable.“

Davies held his position at Cardigan Castle from September 2017 to November 2019.

The defendant has pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining £4,143.20 from the castle on December 21, 2017.

Again Davies admitted to fraudulently obtaining £28,955.55 between February 4, 2019 and November 3, 2019.

Two further charges of theft were also admitted – one charge of  theft from the castle of £1,908.18 between May 2, 2018 and May 24, 2019 and a further charge of theft from Cardigan Castle Enterprises to the sum of £6,024.79.

Dyfed-Powys Police conducted a year long investigation after being contacted by the castle board of directors.

Financial discrepancies were identified during financial monitoring.

An internal investigation was launched and Davies left his position within the castle in October 2019 following a disciplinary process.

The court heard how Davies had used the castle paypal account to divert caseh, failed to bank cash takings and cheques and fraudulently claimed back money for an online Masters course which he did not do.

Prosecuting Danielle Lodwig told the court how Davies had also used a company credit card at clothing shop Next and at Celtic Manor Resort.

She added that when confronted by trustees about discrepancies there was a number of excuses provided, such as company credit card had accidentally merged with his personal one.

Davies also told trustees that the credit card in question had been destroyed – only for them later to find out that was untrue and the limit had been increased from £2,000 to £10,000.

Judge Paul Thomas, QC added: “There is no other description appropriate to you other than to say you are a thoroughly dishonest individual.

“You took money from your employer who trusted you. That money was not from a business but a charity.”

Davies was sentenced to 21 months in prison, suspended for two years.

He was also ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work and must comply with a 15 day rehabilitation order.

During sentencing, Judge Paul Thomas, QC said: “This was not an isolated lapse but part of a sustained course of deliberate misconduct.”

The court also heard how Davies’ solicitor is holding £40,000 which will be paid back to the castle for what he stole.