Ex-ITFC worker sentenced for fraud

A FORMER Ipswich Town employee has been spared prison after attempting to defraud the club of goods valued at �200.

Colin Adwent

A FORMER Ipswich Town employee has been spared prison after attempting to defraud the club of goods valued at �200.

Kelvin Howes was working at the club's Planet Blue shop in Bury St Edmunds when he tried to take advantage of the club's loyalty scheme which can be exchanged for items or vouchers.

At the 38-year-old's sentencing prosecutor Matthew McNiff told Ipswich Crown Court Howes had been responsible for 56 transactions of points on to a loyalty card.

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Howes, of Priors Avenue, Bury St Edmunds, had previously pleaded guilty to false representation on what was to be the first day of his trial on July 1.

During his sentencing the court heard he had worked for Ipswich Town Football Club for four to five years.

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Mr McNiff said while employed by the club Howes secured a loyalty card in his daughter's name.

While working in Planet Blue he continued to falsely top up the card with points.

Howes then exchanged the points he had been accumulating over the course of nine months for a football kit and gift vouchers.

The court was told Howes had 26 previous offences to his name, including four for dishonesty between 1987 and 1992.

After he was arrested he tried to deflect the blame on to another member of staff who he attempted to implicate.

Although Howes worked in Planet Blue he was not a key holder or high in the management chain.

Richard Potts, mitigating, said his client had now set up a computer games and second-hand computer equipment shop in Bury St Edmunds with two partners.

Judge John Devaux told Howes he had breached his employer's trust and allowed suspicion to fall on colleagues, one of whom he blamed for the fraud.

He gave Howes a 14-week prison sentence suspended for 15 months. Judge Devaux also ordered Howes to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

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