Darfield club steward jailed

A DARFIELD cricket club steward who stole nearly £14,500 in takings has been put behind bars.

At the height of his crime spree, 55-year-old Glyn Noble failed to bank any money from Darfield Cricket Club, and pocketed the cash.

Sheffield Crown Court heard Noble had problems with alcohol and gambling and had racked up debts of about £30,000 on credit cards, mortgage arrears, unpaid bills and council tax.

Jailing him for nine months, Judge Simon Lawler QC said his crime involved a ‘high level of breach of trust’.

“You stole a lot of money the club can ill afford to lose,” he said.

David Wainwright, club secretary, said officials were ‘absolutely furious’ when Noble’s theft was uncovered.

“We have bills to pay, and standing orders and cheques that need to go out”, he said. Noble was sacked from the cricket club for gross misconduct.

Stephanie Hollis, prosecuting, said the former miner was employed at Darfield for five years and was supposed to take statements of the bar takings and the club’s paying-in book to treasurer June Kilner each week.

Ms Hollis said delivery of information dwindled, and finally stopped completely.

The court heard Noble spoke to Mrs Kilner on the phone in September and told her he had not found some paying-in books.

Ms Hollis said: “He then said he’d had a problem.”

A meeting was arranged with a human resources representative and Noble admitted he had not been banking the money, estimating he had taken £6,000 to £8,000 in cash.

He then took club members to his house and produced a bag containing £1,153, as well as three stolen cheques worth £211.

The police were called and Noble was arrested.

In his police interview, Noble said he had been stealing money for three months and was heavily in debt.

He was reinterviewed after Mrs Kilner tallied the books and found £14,465 missing.

Ms Hollis said: “He said in one five-week period he hadn’t paid any money in. He said he felt ashamed.”

Noble was paid a weekly wage of £297 by the club, in addition to his monthly miner’s pension.

Rebecca Stevens, mitigating, told the court Noble’s difficulties began when his marriage crumbled and he tried to buy his ex-wife out of her share of their house.

“He hoped he would be able to pay the money back but, of course, as is often the case, that rarely happens,” she said. “He certainly wasn’t living the high life. It all spiralled out of control.”

Noble, of Calder Crescent, Kendray, Barnsley, admitted theft.

Judge Lawler told him: “You have been a hard-working man all your life and it’s sad to see you in the dock. But the fact remains that over a fairly short period of time you stole a lot of money the club can ill afford to lose. I fear I would be failing in my public duty if I didn’t impose an immediate custodial sentence.”