K9 Cru steps
Caption: K9 Cru outside Cardiff Crown Court accompanied by DC Dave Skelton from Devon & Cornwall Police

K9 Crusaders welcomes the decision of Judge Wynne Morgan to impose a custodial sentence on Katrina Jones – known locally as Kate David – for her systematic theft of money from our animal charity.

Jones was given a six-year custodial sentence for this and other thefts. The judge described her as ‘cold-blooded, evil and malevolent’.

Jones ingratiated herself with the charity ensuring that she became indispensable to the founding members through her knowledge of business and her involvement in other animal charities.

She became an integral part of the life of our founder, Sue Smith, in the knowledge that her terminally ill partner put enormous strain on her ability to run all aspects of the rescue.

Jones used our funds for her own purposes but was exceptionally clever in covering her deception.

She even diverted the money from the sale of our founder’s house; much of it destined to be used for the benefit of K9 Crusaders’ rescued dogs at Hollybush Farm.

Our suspicions were not aroused until debt collectors demanded money from the rescue for unpaid bills for maintenance, food and veterinary bills.

Funds on deposit had been siphoned off, and the total theft from K9 Crusaders and Sue Smith was around £200,000 although only about £120,000 was traced. None has been returned.

Jones ruthlessly exploited K9 Crusaders and its small team for her own ends, endangering the lives of the dogs she purported to care for. The amount she stole was enough to have paid the running costs of the rescue for at least five years.

Meanwhile, K9 Crusaders are grateful for the support it has received from volunteers and donors. We are moving forward having worked hard to pay off half of our £21,000 debt in the last year.

All funds and donations have been secure for the past year, but we have not been able to pursue the building and maintenance plan for the rescue because of the theft. Currently we have over 30 dogs in residence, but we cannot take more until our finances improve.

We are delighted that justice has been done and that Jones has been recognised for what she really is. and we are looking forward to moving on, focusing on the dogs and the charity without being sucked dry by a cruel thief.

We should like to thank DC Dave Skelton and his team from Devon and Cornwall police for doggedly pursuing this and for the support they have given us over the past year.

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