South East Wales

Llantwit Major rugby club treasurer avoids jail over fraud

Diane Roberts Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Diane Roberts started dipping into the rugby club's funds after taking over managing the pay roll

The former treasurer of a Welsh rugby club has been given a 15-month suspended jail sentence for stealing more than £16,000 from them.

Diane Roberts, 33, was brought in to save money at the Llantwit Major club, but instead stole funds over 20 months and nearly forced it to go bust.

Roberts, from Boverton, pleaded guilty to fraud.

She avoided an immediate prison sentence after Cardiff Crown Court heard the money was being paid back.

The court heard she took money from the club between March 2012 and November 2013, but it would be paid back into the Vale of Glamorgan club's account by Friday morning

She had regularly taken sums of £500, saying it was being used to pay bar staff when it was not.

'Persistent conduct'

The court previously heard the club had nearly folded because of the missing money and it had been unable to buy floodlights. The club had to renegotiate with its creditors.

She had denied another charge of fraud and two of dishonestly acquiring criminal property and it was directed those charges lie on the file.

The court was told she had taken out several loans in order to pay back the money and she now had two jobs to meet the repayments.

It heard she felt strong remorse and was a low risk of committing further offences.

Judge Patrick Curran QC told her: "This was an abuse of a position of trust and persistent conduct so powerful that only a custodial sentence would be appropriate."

Roberts wept in the dock as she was told she was a woman of previous good character but depression following the birth of a child "may have played a part in you committing these serious offences".

Roberts was also ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work and attend a positive thinking course.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites