Gambling addict stole kids' footie cash

GAMBLING addict Steven Nunn's life is at rock bottom today after he turned to stealing funds from a children's football club to fuel his addiction.

Simon Tomlinson

GAMBLING addict Steven Nunn's life is at rock bottom today after he turned to stealing funds from a children's football club to fuel his addiction.

Nunn could face jail after admitting pocketing more than £800 of membership fees from Bourne Vale Football Club where he was secretary - and even stole money from a Christmas disco that the children had organised themselves.

But the 36-year-old today apologised and said he was making strides to tackle his gambling addiction which had spiralled out of control and taken over his life.

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He said: “Whatever punishment is given to me it will help me to change my life. I am very sorry.”

Nunn, of Thoroughfare, Woodbridge, admitted three charges of fraud by false representation and also pleaded guilty to another count of theft at South East Suffolk Magistrate's court yesterday.

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Magistrates in Ipswich were told that Nunn became club secretary in August 2007 and was responsible for collecting the £50 subscriptions paid by each child.

But in December Nunn, who works in retail management, became unemployed and his gambling addiction took him deeper into trouble.

Lesla Small, prosecuting, said: “He had run up large debts with various people. He was getting deeper and deeper into despair.”

Nunn found that “temptation was too great to resist” and pocketed an unknown amount of money from raffle and ticket sales from a disco organised by the children over the Christmas holidays.

He also should have paid around £2,900 into the club's bank account from the subscriptions, but instead he banked £250 less.

The court heard that Nunn had no authority to pay out money on behalf of the club and had to get authorisation from signatories, but on occasions this year he bypassed this protocol and signed cheques himself to obtain cash.

Nunn's scam was finally rumbled when the finances were scrutinised while the club, based in Halifax Road, Ipswich, was making plans to merge with another club and he was arrested on July 18.

Mark Holt, mitigating, said: “He has lost a great number of friends and suffers from depression due to the gambling problems.”

James Payne, of the Suffolk Football Association, said the club's trust had been abused and they were disappointed by the events.

Nunn was granted unconditional bail until a sentencing hearing at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court on September 17.

Bourne Vale Football Club, which has teams for children aged nine to 16, did not wish to comment.

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