Oswaldtwistle boss faces jail over swindle

Christopher Horsfield

Christopher Horsfield

First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Crime reporter

A COMPANY boss has been warned he faces prison after pleading guilty to stealing thousands of pounds.

Christopher Horsfield, 45, transferred cash into his own bank account and used cards and cheques to swindle Kooga Rugby Limited out of the money.

A court heard that the defendant, of Orchard Drive, Oswaldtwistle, also claimed excessive expenses and put cash into foreign bank accounts.

He pleaded guilty to seven counts of theft, three of removing criminal property and one of perverting the course of justice at Burnley Crown Court yesterday.

Horsfield admitted a further charge of perverting the course of justice at an earlier hearing.

Prosecuting, Jamie Hamilton said: “Whilst in a high degree of trust, he used a variety of methods to steal money from that company. He was in full control of payments of such things as expenses.

“His general level of expenses exceeded that that would be expected of an employee in his circumstances.

“The total amount is not more than £150,000.”

Judge Beverley Lunt told the defendant: “Looking at the level of this fraud, it is going to be a prison sentence, but I will decide on the length of that prison sentence when I have read all of the papers.”

Horsfield will be sentenced on April 23.

No evidence was offered in the case of his co-accused Terrie Horsfield, 36, also of Orchard Drive.

She had been accused of being aware of the level of the situation as money was moving through their joint account.

Mr Hamilton said: “The crown are very aware that this case has been ongoing against her since 2011.

“Even if she were to be convicted of that count, the court would have a great deal of sympathy for her situation.

“In those circumstances, the crown have previously indicated that were Christopher Horsfield to enter acceptable guilty pleas, the crown would not proceed against Terrie Horsfield.

“These matters have been hanging over her head for so long.”

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