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'We didn't pocket Big Kids money'

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TWO collectors accused of pocketing charity cash are out to clear their names.

TWO collectors accused of pocketing charity cash are out to clear their names. Debbie Troth, 40, and Kelly Hindmarch, 18, said they were collecting for Island FM's Big Kids Day when a girl outside Barbados asked for the money which, she said, she would take to the radio station.

'No one in their right mind would hand over a bucket of money to a complete stranger out on a Friday night,' said Mrs Troth.

When the women refused to part with cash, they said the girl complained to the manager of Barbados who, they claimed, contacted the police.

Mrs Troth and Miss Hindmarch had earlier been refused entry to the club.

Manager Adam Burroughs said this had been because of an official fund-raising party.

'A lot of money had already been collected and staff from the radio station were in there, so we had no outsiders coming in,' he said.

He would not say whether he had called the police.

Mrs Troth said that she and Miss Hindmarch had then decided to go home.

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'As I got into the car, which was parked just outside, I heard a knock on the window,' she said.

'A policeman said he didn't want to talk to us with so many people around, so he told me to drive around the corner where he would stop me.'

At that point, said Mrs Troth, she was phoning a member of Island FM staff to say she was on her way there with the money, which totalled about £300.

She claimed the policeman demanded to know to whom she was speaking and that he had been aggressive.

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He also told them of an allegation that the women were planning to keep the money.

'I kept my mouth shut, but I wasn't happy about it.

'I couldn't get a word in edgeways.'

But Inspector Trevor Coleman of Guernsey Police said there had been no complaint whatsoever against any officer over the incident.

'Had a complaint been made, the matter would have been investigated,' he said.

Mrs Troth said the most embarrassing part was the next day, when someone told her that they had heard she had been arrested for keeping the money.

'We did nothing wrong,' she said.

'I've collected money for the Race For Life, World Aid Walk, Itex Walk and the Pink Ladies.

'But I don't think now that I would do it again.'

Island FM managing director Linda Burnham said there were just too many collectors out that evening, 28 September, for her to know them all by name.

'The station appreciated all the help that it got for Big Kids Day,' she said.

'We have no issue with anyone.'

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