When news happens, text SDE and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Treasurer stole £14k from Ranvilles Rangers football club in Fareham
9:00am Saturday 12th May 2012 in News
A FORMER youth football club treasurer who abused his position to steal more than £14,000 has escaped a jail term – because of his “extreme ill-health”.
Graham Briggs was keeping the books at Ranvilles Rangers in Fareham when he started cashing cheques.
In one fraud, he even paid for his son’s school fees with a cheque for £2,750 out of club accounts, Portsmouth Crown Court heard.
The 56-year-old continued to use club funds to “alleviate his own financial difficulties” between 2006 and 2010, the court was told.
He was eventually arrested, pleading guilty to two counts of fraud by abuse of position. He asked for 38 similar counts to be taken in to account which, when combined, left the club £14,365 out of pocket.
In mitigation, the court heard how prior to his arrest Briggs had paid £1,000 back to the club, which plays at Neville Lovett Community School.
Arriving at the court in a wheel chair, it was revealed how he had been suffering from “extreme ill health” and had chronic liver problems.
Although Briggs, of Laburnum Road, Fareham, had a string of previous convictions for fraud, his last was 21 years ago.
Recorder Anne Arnold said she was being “merciful” by not sending Briggs to jail, adding that any spell behind bars could have a “very serious impact” on his health.
But she told Briggs: “You have committed thefts and fraud against a youth football club while you were in a position of trust for that club, which caters for five to 18-year-olds and deprived them, over the space of four years, of £15,000 – a lot of that to go towards school fees for your child, a sum you could not otherwise afford.
“Because of that, other children have gone short of the facilities that might have been available to the club.”
Briggs was handed a 12 month sentence, suspended for two years, a six month curfew requirement and will be fitted with a tag.
He has also been ordered to pay court costs of £360 and compensation totalling £14,630 at £50 a week – though he was told the full amount should be repaid within 24 months.
Nobody was available for comment from the club last night.