A woman who was taken to court after secretly auctioning off her husband's Olympic torch on eBay says their marriage is still going strong.
Judo coach David Hereward was chosen to take part in the Olympic Torch Relay as reward for transforming the fortunes of the Higachi Judo Club in Spilsby. He had paid to keep his torch but by the time he ran through the streets of Lincoln on his big day, his wife Caroline, 33, had already auctioned the item and banked the £3,001 paid out by winning bidder Stephen Flashman.
Marie Stace, prosecuting, told Skegness Magistrates Court that the torch was due to be handed over on June 30. But on that morning Mr Flashman received a text from Caroline saying her husband was not prepared to sell.
Mr Flashman demanded his cash back and when he received none, he went to police. He subsequently bought another torch.
Miss Stace said: "Caroline Hereward knew the torch belonged to her husband and he hadn't given permission for it to be sold.
"She used the money to pay off judo club debts. She could have paid the money back straight away to Mr Flashman."
Caroline Hereward, of Great Steeping, near Spilsby, admitted fraud by false representation.
She was given a four-week jail sentence suspended for 12 months and ordered to pay £3,003.50 to cover the cost of the bid, plus £2.50 postage paid by Mr Flashman.
The torch has now been returned to David Hereward.
Gary Farmer, defending, said Caroline Hereward apologised to Mr Flashman, adding: "She stands here totally embarrassed and ashamed at what she has done."
Afterwards, Caroline said: "I would like to apologise to my husband who was an innocent party in all this and has stood by me. I will now be able to pay Mr Flashman back as I have always wanted to."
David Hereward said: "I'm just looking forward to being reunited with my torch. It has been very upsetting but I stand by my wife 100 per cent."
Talking to the Echo, Caroline Hereward said: "Our relationship hasn't changed in any way because it's always been very strong.
"The judo club is now in a new venue in Franklin Hall as we could not sustain it permanently where we were with what we were being charged in rent. It's definitely just about moving on now and putting it behind us."