A Yorkshire police employee has been sentenced for stealing more than £44,000 from a sports fund to sustain his gambling habit.
Andrew Smart, 36, was sentenced on Tuesday, April 9 at Teesside Crown Court for stealing more than £44,000 from Police Sports Fund UK.
Smart was a senior accounting administrator with North Yorkshire Police and had been the treasurer of the fund.
The North Yorkshire Police branch of Police Sport UK is a voluntary organisation - independent of the force – that supports the activity of sixteen different sports in the service.
It has approximately 500 serving members and is funded by their monthly subscription fees.
Between July 2016 and August 2017 Smart wrote himself 67 separate cheques to the value of £44,082 to fund his gambling addiction.
He was suspended as a result of the investigation and subsequently resigned.
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Yesterday (Tuesday) he was given a 12 month suspended sentence and ordered to undertake 240 hours of unpaid work.
Thomas Neofytou from the Crown Prosecuting Service 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.”
Commenting on the case, Richard Flint, Chairman of the North Yorkshire Police branch of Police Sport UK, said: “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.”