A hockey club treasurer who stole thousands of pounds from the organisation has narrowly escaped an immediate jail sentence.
Christopher Kime stole £5,300 over a four year period when he was treasurer of Horncastle Hockey Club.
Lincoln Crown Court heard that the theft was only discovered after Kime moved to Norfolk and his successor as treasurer found that money was missing from club accounts.
Kime, 54, of Renwick Park East, West Runton, Norfolk, admitted a charge of theft.
He was given an 18 month jail sentence suspended for two years and 150 hours of unpaid work.
Kime was also ordered to repay the club £5,300 compensation by December 10.
Recorder Jacob Hallam, passing sentence, told him: “You were within a whisker of going to prison today. This was a serious breach of trust.”
Mark Knowles, prosecuting, said “Round about 2014 he gave up the role of treasurer and moved to the Norfolk area.
“The theft was soon discovered when the new treasurer took over. £5,300 had gone missing from the club accounts.
“The new treasurer tried to find out what had happened. He went to Mr Kime and confronted him.
“The defendant came out with an elaborate story that the money was in a bank account in Germany.”
Kime was given the chance to repay the cash but when he failed to do so the club called in police.
Karen Walton, in mitigation, said that Kime has recently remortgaged his house and is able to repay the money.
She said that at the time he took the money Kime had run up debts which led him to take money from the club.
Miss Walton added that Kime, who has no previous convictions, is now planning to sell his home in Norfolk and move back to live in Lincolnshire.
“He absolutely realises that he has breached the trust placed in him. He is deeply ashamed.”