Lower Hopton Working Men's Club treasurer Julie Catling stole more than £15,000 from club's funds, Leeds Crown Court heard

A working men's club treasurer who stole more than £15,000 from the club's funds has been handed a suspended prison sentence.

Friday, 19th November 2021, 4:45 pm
Updated Friday, 19th November 2021, 5:50 pm
Lower Hopton Working Men's Club, Mirfield. Image: Google

Julie Catling, 62, took the cash between November 2016 and February 2018 while working as treasurer at Lower Hopton WMC in Mirfield, Leeds Crown Court heard.

Catling, of Parkfield Avenue, Mirfield, admitted 10 charges of fraud by abuse of position.

Catling, who has no previous convictions, was employed as the club's treasurer in September 2016.

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Lydia Carroll, prosecuting, said when an accountancy firm employed by the club spoke to her about discrepancies in the accounts at the end of 2017 Catling said: "We have had a bad year, can't we just move on?"

Catling was suspended from her paid role on March 18 2018 and resigned two days later.

The court heard Catling claimed cheques had been paid out to the club's suppliers, but she had instead paid them into her own bank accounts.

Ms Carroll said Catling took a total of £15,789.62 and paid back £5,885 in March 2018.

The total amount outstanding is £9,904.62.

The court heard the club suffered reputational as well as financial damage as a result of Catling's initial refusal to accept her guilt.

For more than three years they were unable to provide members with an explanation of what had happened to the missing money.

Adam Keenaghan, mitigating, said Catling, who suffers from depression and is the main carer for her elderly parents, is ashamed of what she did.

Judge Andrew Stubbs QC sentenced Catling to an 18 month jail sentence, suspended for two years.

Catling must also do 200 hours unpaid work.

A proceeds of crime application hearing will be held at a later date.