Crime

Accountant sentenced for theft of £44,000

Andrew Smart, a senior accounting administrator for North Yorkshire Police, has been sentenced at Teesside Crown Court for stealing over £44,000 from voluntary organisation Police Sports Fund UK, of which he served as treasurer.

According to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), between July 2016 and August 2017 he wrote himself 67 separate cheques to the value of £44,082 to fund his gambling addiction. He has been given a 12-month suspended sentence and ordered to undertake 240 hours of unpaid work.

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The North Yorkshire Police branch of Police Sport UK helps to organise sporting activities for the force and has approximately 500 serving members and is funded by their monthly subscription fees.

Thomas Neofytou from the CPS said: “Smart committed a fundamental breach of the trust placed in him as a police employee. He stole a substantial sum of money from the police sports fund in order to sustain his gambling habit. The sentence he has received today underlines the fact that no one is above the law.”

Richard Flint, chairman of the North Yorkshire Police branch of Police Sport UK, added: “We lost a significant amount of our savings as a result of this crime, although some of that has been paid back.

“Since then we have changed our financial procedures so nothing like this can happen again. Fortunately, our branch of Police Sport UK still has sufficient funds to support our members’ sporting activities, so we can now put this crime behind us and focus on doing just that.”

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