Shameless soccer referee Robert Allen has been shown the red card after stealing from a five-a-side football firm – and then blaming it on his stepson.
Doncaster police arrested and quizzed both his stepson Joseph and wife Elizabeth after the cash went missing and Allen pointed the finger.
But the crooked whistler, who has previously fleeced women footballers, has finally accepted responsibility and was jailed for nine months at Sheffield Crown Court by Recorder Simon Hirst, who told him: “You have a litany of dishonesty.”
Allen, aged 48, was refereeing five-a-side matches for Warwick-based Leisure Leagues at Adwick leisure centre, near Doncaster.
He was responsible for collecting the money from the two teams to hand over to the company but the cash never reached their account.
He should have deposited £413 from games on February 25 and a further £328 after matches on March 4 but claimed the money had been stolen.
Leisure Leagues called in the police and Allen was arrested. He said he had left the money in bags in a drawer at home and later found it had vanished.
Prosecutor Brian Outhwaite said: “He suggested his stepson was involved and police questioned his wife and stepson.
“She made no comment but his stepson appeared shocked and visibly upset when told he was being accused of theft. He denied all knowledge of it.”
Allen maintained his story until the day of his trial when he changed his plea to guilty.
The court heard Allen was convicted of theft and false accounting in February 2012 after stealing £1,740 from a women’s football league in Doncaster where he was treasurer.
He was given a 16-weeks jail term suspended for a year and embarked on the first of the Adwick offences just nine days after the sentence expired.
In 2004 at Lincoln he was also convicted of theft after failing to bank the proceeds of a raffle and charity collection for the Sun Nursery Association of Parents and Staff where he was also treasurer.
He has four other convictions for theft from an employer stretching back to 1983.
Allen, of Barnby Dun Road, Wheatley Park, admitted the two offences of theft from Leisure Leagues. They never got their money back.
Edward Moss, defending, said Allen’s wife was wheelchair-bound having suffered a brain haemorrhage and three slipped discs and he was her sole carer.
He worked as a self-employed computer repairer and still refereed soccer matches although he was not in charge of any monies, which in the past had contributed to the family income.
He was willing to repay the cash he owed even with his limited financial resources.
Recorder Hirst said: “You told the police your stepson had taken the money and that he was responsible and as a result your wife, who is disabled, and your stepson were arrested.
“This is a serious matter. You deliberately accused your stepson of stealing this money.”