eBay Olympic torch sale wife Caroline Hereward admits fraud

The wife of a Lincolnshire Olympic torchbearer tried to sell her husband's torch on eBay without his knowledge to pay off debts, a court has heard.

Police were called in after a bidder paid £3,000 for judo coach David Hereward's torch but never received it.

On Tuesday, Caroline Hereward, 33, from Ashleigh, Great Steeping, Spilsby, admitted a charge of fraud at Skegness Magistrates' Court.

The case was adjourned until 9 November for sentencing.

Prosecutor Paul Ward said Mrs Hereward placed the torch on eBay on 4 June. The winning bid was made by Steven Flashman.

'Embarrassed and ashamed'

The torch belonged to her husband David who had been nominated to run with it for his good work at a judo club in Spilsby.

Image caption Caroline Hereward put her husband's Olympic torch on eBay to clear debts

The money for the torch was transferred, but the torch never arrived with Mr Flashman.

Defending solicitor Gary Farmer said Hereward put the torch up for sale unbeknown to her husband to clear debts at the judo club, which has since closed down.

The court heard Hereward realised her husband would not part with the torch after he took it to local schools to display it.

Attempts were made by Hereward to come to an agreement to pay back the money to the buyer in instalments but those failed.

Mr Farmer said his client had never been in trouble before. He said: "She has shown remorse and is very embarrassed and ashamed, and apologises to the court."

He said there were mitigating circumstances in that the enterprise was "not fraudulent at the outset".

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