Mum stole cash from child's football club to fund her lifestyle

GV - Ipswich Crown Court

GV - Ipswich Crown Court

A Suffolk mother of four whose theft of £6,000 from her child’s youth football team was partly to blame for it folding has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Colleen Yates “pilfered” money from the Moreton Hall Football Club ay Bury St Edmunds under 15s “Black Panthers” team over four years while she was acting as an administrator for club funds.

Sentencing 43-year-old Yates ay Ipswich Crown Court, Judge Rupert Overbury  described what she did as “nothing short of disgraceful” and said she should be ashamed of herself.

 “This case came about because you were plainly living beyond your means and couldn’t afford to pay for the things you wanted your children and your family to have.

“For a significant period of time over a number of years you pilfered from the football team’s account to fund your own lifestyle although I accept it wasn’t particularly extravagant.”

He said one of the things she had spent money on was dancing lessons.

“In 2019 this football team, not only because of what you did and also other reasons, closed down and that is a massive shame for young people who enjoyed their football and others who wanted to join the team.”

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Judge Overbury said some of the team’s officials had to dip into their own pockets to pay for what she’d done.

He accepted Yates was remorseful and said character references he had read described someone completely different from the person who had stolen money from a youth football team.

Yates, of Northumberland Avenue, Bury St Edmunds, admitted fraud between January 2015 and June 2019.

She was given a 13-month prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered to do 240 hours' unpaid work.

She was also given a 40-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

The prosecution has 28 days to decide whether it wants to pursue an application under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Peter Clark, prosecuting, said Yates had been asked to stand down following an investigation after it became clear that money had been taken.

Andrew Thompson, for Yates, said his client had no previous convictions and worked in a care home with people who needed end of life care.

He said Yates had paid back some of the money she had taken and had paid for a Christmas party out of her own funds.

He said in addition to the theft of money by Yates there had been internal disputes and the departure of the manager which had contributed to the team folding.