THE son of a former Conservative club treasurer who laundered more than £130,000 from the club's accounts has been jailed — but his mother was spared prison.

Steven Hare was sentenced to three years for his part in the scheme — but his mother Barbara Hare was given two years in prison suspended for two years, at Bolton Crown Court.

Barbara Hare was held in a “high degree of trust” having been a member of Dunscar Conservative Club since 1975, and becoming treasurer in 1989, the court heard.

She had sole control of the club’s accounts and from 2009 to 2014, 52 payments of about £37,000 were paid into her account.

A further 175 payments worth about £95,000 were sent to accounts owned by her son.

Her crimes only came to light last year when contractors due to carry out renovation work worth £60,000 said they had not been paid.

The court was told that there was no evidence Barbara Hare had spent any of the money herself, and that it was all passed on to her son who was having difficulties with his marriage and with his printing business.

Addressing Barbara Hare, Judge Timothy Stead said the scheme was a “seriously misguided criminal attempt” to help her son.

He said: “Ultimately whatever your reasons, there is only you to blame for what you actually did.

“There is no evidence of high living or luxury. There is not even evidence of you and your husband going out for a single meal on the money you stole.”

Defending Barbara Hare, Colin Buckle said that the family home has been sold, which will allow more than £37,000 to be paid back to the club as compensation.

He said that the Hares, formerly of Darwen Road, Egerton, have now left the property.

Barbara Hare has gone to live with her 90-year-old mother and her husband is currently living in a bed and breakfast because he has a poor relationship with his mother-in-law.

Judge Stead added: “The damage you have done to your own family situation I am sure will never be repaired.”

The court was told that Steven Hare’s marriage had broken down and that he only sees his two children infrequently.

Addressing Steven Hare, the judge said: “When it became apparent what was happening, you didn’t do anything to stop it.

“You allowed your 67-year-old mother to carry on thinking that she was doing was helping you.”

Steven Hare was ordered to pay back £200 — the value of a car which he owns and which he must now sell.

Barbara Hare broke down in tears as details of her family situation were read out.

Mr Buckle said that the sentencing represented her “ultimate disgrace”.

He said: “Her life as she has known it has collapsed around her because she made a decision to steal for someone else.”

More than half a dozen members of the club were in court to hear the judges sentencing remarks.

After the hearing, Cllr Alan Wilkinson, the president of the club, said he had known Barbara Hare for 40 years and was at her wedding, but never suspected anything.

He said: “It has been very upsetting. Barbara has been a friend to us so it has had that affect as well.

“I never had any doubts. I had trust in her like everybody else did.

“She could tell you the price of things like toilet roll and bleach. But eventually that became part of her ability to cover it up.”

Cllr Wilkinson said that the club had survived the incident, but that it was continuing to pay off debts and cannot carry out work it had hoped to.

Barbara Hare, aged 67, admitted two counts of theft and one count of producing false accounts.

She was also sentenced to a community order and must attend an offenders programme.

Steven Hare, aged 35, admitted one count of money laundering.