Bridesmaid takes hen party cash

A BRIDE’S plans for a hen party in the sun were grounded when her chief bridesmaid disappeared with her £3,000 holiday fund.

Nadine Kelly, 30, and her friends saved up for a celebration in Benidorm before her wedding to James Kelly last year

They entrusted matron-of-honour Charlene Whittaker to look after the cash.

But, three days before the pals were due to fly out to Spain, 29-year-old Charlene told them the flights had been cancelled.

It was only later they discovered the truth, that Charlene – Nadine’s childhood friend – had never booked the trip and had kept the money instead.

Charlene was reported to the police, prosecuted, and taken to court where Rotherham magistrates ordered her to do 80 hours of community service.

Whittaker, formerly of Rackford Road, North Anston, Rotherham, but who now lives in Worksop, was also ordered to pay £1,410 compensation and £75 costs after admitting theft.

Nadine, of Cedric Crescent, Thurcroft, Rotherham, said: “I thought she was my best friend.”

“I just couldn’t comprehend that someone I had been so close to could do something like that to me.”

Nadine said Charlene’s crime came to light only after she falsely claimed the 30-strong group’s flights had been cancelled because of the Icelandic ash cloud which disrupted air travel last May.

Nadine added that Charlene never gave her an explanation or apologised for what she did, but did repay some of the money through her mum.

Nadine and her friends made their own arrangements to fly out to Spain, and she happily married fiancé James in September.

After the honeymoon she and the other hen party guests decided to call the police.