Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 4°C

min temp: 3°C

Search

Ipswich: Treasurer defrauded boxing association

PUBLISHED: 10:15 22 January 2013 | UPDATED: 10:15 22 January 2013

South East Suffolk  Magistrates' Court

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

Archant

THE former treasurer of Suffolk Amateur Boxing Association is awaiting his fate today after stealing £2,500 from its schools’ account.

Keith Cocker, of Croft Street, Ipswich, admitted 11 charges of fraud, and two of forging his chairman’s signature on cheques, when he appeared before the town’s magistrates.

The 65-year-old claimed he felt compelled to commit the offences after being harassed into doing so by a former lodger, who had assaulted and stolen from him.

The frauds, which totalled £2,530, took place over an eight-month period between June 2011 and February 2012.

Prosecutor Lesla Small said Cocker had been the treasurer of the voluntary association for 20 years.

The offences were reported to police by the organisation’s chairman in July last year.

He told officers £7,000 was missing from the accounts.

Cocker was the sole signatory on cheques until late 2009, when the system was changed to require the dual signatures of the association’s treasurer and chairman.

After the missing money was reported, Cocker was charged with drawing 11 fraudulent cheques worth £2,530.

Seven were made out to a man named Bradley Thorpe, three to Cocker himself, and one to STB Ltd.

Magistrates heard that during a police interview Cocker said Mr Thorpe had been living with him on and off.

Cocker said Mr Thorpe had harassed him and would just turn up, hand the association’s cheque book to him, and make him write the cheques.

The three Cocker wrote for himself went into his Santander account to pay for rent.

Suffolk ABA has now been reimbursed with the £2,530 by Lloyds TSB, which is bearing the loss.

Michael Stephenson, representing Cocker, said: “Mr Cocker seems to have got himself into a position where he was frightened of, and in fact under the power of, a young man who was his lodger.

“The man concerned committed offences of assault against him.

“On January 17, 2012, Mr Thorpe pleaded guilty to two offences of assault, and offences of burglary and theft.

“These were offences of which Mr Cocker was the victim.”

The court was told Thorpe had received a suspended sentence.

However, Mr Stephenson added: “Subsequently that suspended sentenced has been activated.

“This is not quite a case of duress. It doesn’t quite come into that category, but I do think it was something that will be very significant mitigation when the court is actually sentencing.

“There is no doubt that for a substantial period of time Mr Cocker was under the power of this man.”

The magistrates adjourned the case until January 28 for a pre-sentence report.

Cocker was released on unconditional bail.

The family of a missing Suffolk woman have “serious concerns” about her safety, police have said.

A formation of Lynx helicopters made a stop at Wattisham Flying Station today to mark the end of the aircraft’s distinguished 40-year career with the British Army.

A former head teacher from Saffron Walden who was found with “horrific” child abuse images has avoided jail.

A man from Bedfordshire has been arrested in connection with a ram-raid in Long Melford.

A man and a teenager from Stowmarket have been charged with robbery along with a series of other offences.

More than four thousand people have signed a petition launched by a concerned Mum, urging the county council to scrap a controversial consultation into cutting free school transport.

Ipswich Town Hall is preparing for its 150th birthday with a major celebration at the end of the month.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

London Boat Show 2018

cover

Click here to view
London Boat
Show supplement

View

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24