Town’s former mayor admits fraud by abuse of position

A former Mayor of Hastings has admitted charges of fraud by abuse of position and will be sentenced later this month.

Paul Roger Smith, 74, of Addington Grove, Lewisham, London, initially entered no pleas to the four charges when he appeared before Hastings Magistrates on April 10th.

Mr Smith was a Liberal Democrat councillor on Hastings Borough Council and was Mayor between 1989 and 1991. He was also treasurer of several community organisations in Hastings and St Leonards. When he appeared in court in Hove on Wednesday he admitted to all four charges.

The charges are that between October 9th, 2013 and December 25th, 2016 Smith, while treasurer of Hastings and St Leonards Museum Association, abused his position as treasurer by committing fraud, intending to keep £12,276.62 for himself.

Smith, while treasurer of the Castle Ward Forum, committed the same offence between March 31st, 2014 and April 1st, 2017, intending to keep £7,316.49 for himself.

He also committed fraud by abusing his position as treasurer for Hastings and Rye Liberal Democrat Association, intending to keep £4,250.16 for himself between February 15th, 2013 and March 5th, 2017.

Smith admitted to abusing his position as treasurer of St Leonards Methodist Church between October 2nd, 2014 and February 10th, 2017 by committing fraud and intending to keep £12,408.15 for himself.

Smith must appear for sentencing at the crown court on Tuesday, May 28th.

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