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'Trusted friend' stole £10k from Chorley pool league
A POOL league treasurer who stole nearly £10,000 from 300 of its members put the ‘entire future of the league under threat’.
Wendy Woodcock was in a position of trust as treasurer when she emptied the bank account of Chorley and District Pool League last year.
At Preston Crown Court yesterday, Woodcock, 45, of Botany Brow, Chorley was sentenced to eight months imprisonment, suspended for two years and ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work.
She was told to pay back the £9,689 at a rate of £75 a month. She had admitted the crime at an earlier hearing.
At the time of her arrest she told the police she had spent it all and paid off debts but did not specify what those debts were.
A cheque was issued in December 2012 to buy trophies which had not been filled in correctly and had to be returned to the bank.
An accounts audit was carried out and £9,689 was missing from the account.
Karl Morris, chairman of the pool league, said he and his members felt ‘betrayed and badly let down’ by Woodcock’s dishonesty.
He said: “The league has more than 300 members, many of whom considered her a friend.
“She’s basically taken money from each and every one of them.
“She was in a position of trust which she badly abused. Those 300 pool players basically paid off her debts and it put our league, which has run for 30 years in a perilous situation, on the brink of folding.
“She’s hasn’t formally apologised, shown any remorse or offered to pay a single penny back.
“It was humiliating for me and the committee to have to tell our team captains that we had been the victim of this crime. Our motto is ‘run by the players, for the players’, but she let us all down.
“It was only through members’ agreeing to a 50 per cent increase in subscriptions that we survived.”
As a result of Woodcock’s theft, the league owed £4,100 to Greenhalgh Trophy Shop in Bolton.
Mr Morris has paid tribute to the firm’s ‘understanding’ of the situation, and expressed the league’s gratitude, as they have given credit for this year’s trophy event.
Mr Morris added that the league’s financial procedures had been tightened and now three signatories have to be present for any money to be withdrawn.