A DEFRAUDED Cotswolds charity has won a civil case against its former chairman who stole more than £660,000 The High Court handed former Cotswold Water Park Society boss Dennis Grant a judgement of slightly less than £1m and froze his assets on Friday.

Solicitors for the Cotswold Water Park Trust (CWPT) have been given the go-ahead to seize assets belonging to Grant and his wife, including their matrimonial home.

CWPT managing director Matthew Millett said it was not yet clear how much of the plundered funds would be recovered.

"We have obtained a judgement, which also includes interests charges, in the region of £1m although the Trust anticipates that only a small proportion of this sum will be recovered from Mr and Mrs Grant," he said. "It is hoped that significant progress can be made on recovery in the first part of 2013."

Grant was jailed in July last year after admitting stealing £660,792 from the society and was sentenced to a four-year, four-month prison sentence in Leyhill Open Prison near Wotton-under-Edge.

After Grant's fraud was uncovered by tenacious operations director Tasha Flaherty, it was found he had plundered the stolen funds on a range of personal extravagances, including a trip on the Orient Express, a house in Northern Cyprus and several expensive cars.

Somerford Keynes resident Karen Mogridge, who is also deputy chairman of the parish council but was speaking in a personal capacity, said she was pleased by the result, but was unsure about how much the CWPT would actually be able to recover.

"I hope this will be one step along the way to a resolution of all the issues surrounding the CWPS Cotswold Water Park Society," she said.

"It will be nice to see this draw to a close."

The Crown Prosecution Service is also due to determine how much Grant will be required to pay back as a result of his criminal conviction next month, but it is not yet clear how last week’s result will affect this.