Latics thief spared jail
Date published: 23 December 2013
A MAN who stole almost £4,000 from Oldham Athletic Community Trust (OACT) was given a conditional 12-month community sentence at Oldham Magistrates’ Court on Friday.
Mathew Pickford (35), of South Grove, Sale, pleaded guilty to stealing the money during his time as an employee with the trust in 2011 and 2012. The £3,718 was taken in three transactions.
Two payments of £960 were recorded to a bogus firm named EJP, the initials of Pickford’s wife Elizabeth, while the larger amount was recorded to KitKing, who had no knowledge of receiving the funds and had not dealt with the trust for three years.
Pickford’s solicitor Asim Ali told the court that as a trust manager, his client was responsible for staff wages and paid the salary bill out of the company account, which contained barely enough funds, meaning he paid for some company expenses himself.
He also felt out of pocket because during his employment he was contracted for 37-and-a-half hours but often worked as many as 80.
The court heard that when Pickford’s marriage broke down he became increasingly desperate and took additional funds to pay for a deposit on a new house after he and his wife separated.
He was handed a three-month sentence, suspended for 12 months, as well as a conditional 12-month community sentence and 150 hours’ unpaid work. He will also pay back £1,000 and an £80 victim surcharge.
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