Treasurer stole bowls club money to make ends meet
THE treasurer of a Briton Ferry bowls club took more than £1,000 because of his poor financial situation.
Roderick Haddock was handed a 12-week custodial sentence suspended for a year when he appeared at Neath Magistrates' Court.
The court heard Haddock had become the treasurer of the Briton Ferry Steel Bowls Club in October 2011 after taking on the role following its annual meeting
He was responsible for the financial running of the club and in April 2012 the club was given a grant from the Community Chest scheme, worth £1,500.
The fraud was discovered when Haddock was asked to write a cheque from the club's account but he revealed there was insufficient funds.
A meeting took place and he admitted taking money which should have gone into the account.
It was agreed he would pay the money back but when he failed to do so the police were called.
Prosecutor Andrew Smith said: "He accepts he had been in a position of trust and abused that trust.
"He said the money had been easy to use and that he hadn't told anyone what he had done, not even his wife."
The court heard Haddock had lost his job as an asbestos clearer in 2010 and his wife was the sole breadwinner in the house.
In mitigation defence solicitor Steve Harrett said: "In these times of austerity there are throughout the country mini tragedies going on, people losing their employment, losing their way to pay the bills.
"They behave in such a way which is alien to them, unfortunately this man falls into that category.
"He has been punished by losing his good name in the community, the club was very much part of his life.
"He has lost his social outlet and his name is now that of a pariah in the club."
Magistrate George Swan said: "We feel this offence has passed the custody threshold as it is so serious, because there is a gross breach of trust involved.
"We have consideration your early guilty plea and your previous good record."
Haddock, 59, of Victoria Street, Briton Ferry, pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position at a hearing earlier this week.
He was ordered to pay compensation of £1,013 to the club and costs of £85.
He will also undertake a financial management activity course.