Prison for club treasurer who stole £2,000
A SOCIAL club treasurer who pocketed just under £2,000 has been jailed for four months.
George Harrison was instrumental in running finances at Hengrove Bus Social and Sports Club, Bristol Crown Court heard.
After going behind the committee's back and facilitating a club debit card, he helped himself to £1,995.90.
Harrison, 45, formerly of Bristol but now living in Sheringham, Norfolk, pleaded guilty to fraud from February to May 2010.
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The recorder Mr Ignatius Hughes told him: "This was mean offending which breached the trust of those you worked with and allowed you to look after cash on behalf of others.
"You pocketed cash and the effect had significant impact on the organisation that gave you that responsibility.
"It was a breach of a high degree of trust."
David Hunter, prosecuting, cited a number of adjournments in the case's history from September 2010, which included Harrison moving to Norfolk and not attending court before being arrested and remanded in custody.
Mr Hunter said: "He was the treasurer of the club from June 2007.
"He was not entirely diligent in attending all committee meetings.
"He was asked about this by the chairman and secretary and he was a little evasive.
"He was responsible for the books and he was asked by the secretary to produce the books and they were not forthcoming."
Mr Hunter said Harrison attended a committee meeting and suggested he should have a debit card to make his role easier.
Though no decision was made on the card, when club secretary Neil Paling went to Lloyds Bank in Bedminster he discovered Harrison had obtained a debit card and made 63 transactions, the court heard.
Of those, eight related to the club and 55 related just to Harrison, Mr Hunter told the court.
Harrison told police he was muddled between the club's Lloyds Bank card and his own Barclays Bank card, even though they had separate PIN numbers.
Mr Hunter said: "The secretary, Mr Paling, says members have lost faith in the committee and there is no interest.
"Trips have been cancelled because the club had no funds.
"The chairman, Douglas Hunt, said Mr Harrison let the club down massively and acted very selfishly."
Ian Kelcey, defending, conceded his client breached a high degree of trust.
He said the case had been delayed, in part, after his client had moved to Norfolk and had no funds to travel to Bristol for court hearings.
Mr Kelcey said: "He apologises. He accepts full responsibility for it."
He urged the recorder to consider passing a sentence enabling Harrison's immediate release, as he had served an equivalent 20 weeks term while remanded in custody.