Charity worker faces amended allegations

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Fraud charges against a charity worker have been dropped.

Instead, former Space Centre worker Fiona Barnes will face three amended charges relating to her dealings linked to grants to the charity.

She is still facing an allegation of perverting the course of justice by falsely claiming she had cancer in documents sent to Preston Magistrates Court.

Barnes, 52, of Bridgend, Dunblane, Perthshire, appeared in the dock at Preston Crown Court.

Wearing a long grey check patterned coat, the petite blonde started straight ahead, occasionally frowning and shaking her head, as proceedings took place.

The investigation has lasted nearly two years with repeated delays, some of which - it is alleged - were adjourned because the court believed she was in hospital receiving palliative care.

The alleged offences span a period between December 31, 2011 and February 1, 2012.

She originally faced 11 counts over false claims about grants, one over a claim she allegedly made for a train journey, and another allegation of the theft of a computer, phone and two manuals from the charity in July 2012, but the Crown Prosecution Service is not proceeding with these charges.

Barnes, who worked there just over a year, will appear for at Preston Crown Court on October 16, with an expected three day trial on February 10 next year.

For more than 20 years the Space Centre has been providing vital services severely disabled people across Lancashire.