Ex-trustee welcomes seven-year jail term for disgraced South Shields Age Concern chief

Doreen Monteiro was a trustee of Age Concern South Tyneside.
Doreen Monteiro was a trustee of Age Concern South Tyneside.

A South Shields pensioner heavily involved in a charity which was ripped off by its chief executive has welcomed his hefty jail sentence.

Doreen Monteiro, a former trustee with the charity, was left disgusted and annoyed when it was revealed John Briers had managed to defraud Age Concern South Tyneside – his employer –of more than £700,000.

Age UK South Tyneside's Dora Dixon House, Beach Road, South Shields.

Age UK South Tyneside's Dora Dixon House, Beach Road, South Shields.

Money was stolen from two parts of the organisation – one being the charity, for which Briers was chief executive, and the other being the trading company, for which he was the secretary.

The 57-year-old’s crime came to light after a financial manager at the charity noticed a supporting document for one of the payments appeared to be fraudulent.

Yesterday, Briers, 57, of Gateshead, was found guilty of three counts of fraud by abuse of position and was jailed for seven years at Newcastle Crown Court.

Mrs Monteiro, who is heavily involved in the charity through her volunteering work, said: “I’m so glad he has been given a sentence he deserves.

He had a stable job and was on a good salary - he had no reason to do this. He has taken money away from some of the most vulnerable in South Tyneside and its sickening.

Doreen Monteiro

“It makes me so angry he could do this to the pensioners of South Tyneside.

“There are some who come in here and they struggle to find enough money to see them through the week, but he was holidaying in places like Dubai.

“When he first came along I respected him, and I used to say ‘you’re not going to leave us are you?’ and he would reply ‘definitely not’.

“The sad thing is, Dora Dixon, the lady who gave the money to help us fund the house and helped with the extension for the cafe, she worked all those days of her life.

Age UK South Tyneside's Dora Dixon House, Beach Road, South Shields.

Age UK South Tyneside's Dora Dixon House, Beach Road, South Shields.

“She worked so hard and the money has been wasted on him.

“He had a stable job and was on a good salary – he had no reason to do this.

“He has taken money away from some of the most vulnerable people in South Tyneside and its sickening.

“I’m am truly glad he has got the sentence he deserves.”