Outrage as charity conwoman walks free

A SCHOOL today condemned a judge's decision to allow a conwoman to walk free after she pocketed thousands of pounds that should have gone to charity.

Scheming Lorri Seymour was given an eight-month jail sentence suspended for two years for keeping cash raised at charity golf days, which included one for Gosport's Bridgemary School. She could have faced a sentence of up to seven years in prison.

Today, furious Bridgemary School vice-principal Keith Pinney branded the sentence 'a disgrace'.

'To say we are disappointed is an understatement. She should have gone to prison to set an example to anyone thinking of doing anything similar again,' he said.

And even though the case cost 40,000 to bring to court, Seymour was ordered to pay just 2,500 in costs, with the rest coming out of the taxpayers' pocket.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard the 35-year-old blonde made thousands by keeping cash raised at events, including a charity golf day in aid of the school in 2002.

She ran Foreplay Golf Ltd – a corporate events company – from her Titchfield Common home and promised her event would raise up to 10,000 to help the school become a specialist sports college. Stars such as Pompey hero Alan Ball and former Saints stars Matt Le Tissier and Dave Beasant took part.

But staff never saw a penny and The News uncovered Seymour's dishonesty, sparking a police investigation.

Yesterday, Judge Ian Pearson said he would have jailed her, until he read reports from a psychologist and psychiatrist about the impact the case was having on her state of mind.

The judge also ruled that Seymour, the managing director of Foreplay, would be banned from being the director of any company for eight years.

Seymour was also ordered to pay a total of 1,500 each in compensation to Bridgemary School, a school for disabled children in Kent and the London-based charity Kids.

It is believed she kept between 4,000 and 5,000 of the money that was raised during the events for herself – although the individual amounts she kept from each fund-raiser are not known.