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Treasurer's theft hurts Welsh club

A CRICKET club in North Wales almost folded because of thieving by their new treasurer, who had developed an internet gambling habit, the Flintshire Chronicle has reported.

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Mold Crown Court heard that Graham Owen, 25, had not paid a penny into the accounts since he was appointed treasurer to Buckley Cricket Club last April. Money given to him from bar takings and functions were stolen by Owen, at one stage the club captain, who was in financial trouble after losing his job.

Club officials tackled him about what was going on, he apologised and promised to pay the money back. But he failed to do so and the police were called in. Owen, of Parkside in Buckley, admitted stealing 2,000 of club funds between April and October of last year, though he avoided a prison sentence and instead was ordered to carry out 300 hours unpaid work. He must also pay all the money back together with 60 costs.

Prosecutor Robert Blakemore said it was a mean offence which nearly brought about the demise of the cricket club and at one stage left it uninsured and facing the prospect of the electricity being cut off.

Phillip Marshall-Thomas, defending, said Owen had lost his good character and name. Owen was deeply ashamed at what he had done. He had been depressed, suffered sleepless nights and had shed many tears over what had happened. "He was full of good intentions to pay the money back, but we all know that the road to hell is paved with good intentions," said Mr Marshall-Thomas.

He added: "It got out of control, he could not repay the money because he had lost his job and unfortunately he also had at the time been gambling on the internet. And I suspect that is where that money went."

Posted by Charlie Randall
06/02/2009 17:14:34
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