Former Bootle swimming club treasurer jailed for £57K theft

John Crawford Image copyright Merseyside Police
Image caption John Crawford left Bootle swimming club in "financial crisis and near to collapse".

A former bank manager who admitted "callously" stealing £57,000 from a swimming club in Merseyside while he was treasurer has been jailed.

John Crawford, 59, of Edenfield Road, Liverpool was given three years for five offences by Liverpool Crown Court.

He wrote cheques to himself and his off-licence businesses instead of paying Bootle swimming club's invoices.

Police said Crawford left the 135-year-old club in "financial crisis and near to collapse".

'Banking knowledge'

He pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud, one count of theft, one of making a false instrument and another of dishonestly making a false representation.

He forged a mandate for £15,000 and persuaded swimming club committee members to sign cheques for club expenses, police said.

Crawford also set up bogus monthly and annual reports which claimed to show it was in "good financial health".

He failed to pay the club's pool hire bill, which put it at risk of legal action.

The investigation found Crawford tried to pay off that debt by taking a £16,000 loan out in his wife's name, a spokesman for Merseyside Police said.

Officers started an inquiry when they found a letter Crawford had written, which "alluded to him having stolen money from the swimming club", when they visited him during a domestic incident.

Det Insp David Keegan said: "In breaching his position of trust he has systematically and callously stolen the entire worth of the club.

"He used his knowledge of the banking world to his own advantage."

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