A CONVICTED fraudster who took money from a children's charity to fund her gambling addiction has told a jury her ex-partner is “as straight as a die” and had no knowledge of what she was doing.

Ruksana Khan appeared in Chelmsford Crown Court on Thursday as part of the trial of James Donovan, who faces three charges of fraud.

Donovan had been a trustee of the Clacton-based charity, Kidz Come First, whilst Khan squandered thousands of pounds in donations on a gambling addiction.

At the time both Khan and Donovan were in a long-term relationship and, although they are no longer together, they do still live together.

Taking the stand on Thursday, Khan told the court her ex-partner had no knowledge of her fraudulent activity whilst she ran the charity – despite the fact the charity was registered in his name.

Khan said her gambling addiction had become so severe because of the stress involved in running the charity, whilst she also blamed other trustees for a lack of support in running the organisation.

Lucy Sweetland cross-examined Khan at Chelmsford Crown Court on Thursday afternoon, asking why the two continued to live together after Khan confessed to Donovan she had gambled away thousands of pounds in donations.

Miss Sweetland said: “Some may infer that you are giving evidence for Donovan simply to protect him.”

Khan responded: “He would never lie to me – he signed as a trustee just to set up the charity.

“As far as we were concerned, he was a silent trustee because he was tramping and working away.”

Khan told the court that the thousands of pounds being transferred between her and Donovan’s account were from gambling winnings, a portion of which she says she won at Magic City arcades in Clacton throughout 2013 and 2014.

She said: “I would go in with £50 to £60 and walk out with between £1,000 an £2,000 – I got banned because they could see I were winning all the time.

“The money I won from the arcades I would deposit into his account – a few hundred here, a few hundred there.”

When questioned further, Khan maintained Donovan had no knowledge of the transactions to and from his account.

“I’m going to prison anyway, so what difference does it make [if I protect Donovan or not]?

“James never knew anything about any transactions.”