A golf course manager swindled thousands of pounds from his club’s coffers after his life “fell to pieces” through drink and drugs, a court has heard.
Andrew Jones stole more than £12,000 from Alford Golf Club over just 17 days in 2017, later claiming he needed the cash to pay off “significant” debts.
The 34-year-old resigned from the post soon after, with other staff quickly noticing suspicious activities in the books and raising the alarm with police.
Having admitted embezzling the money at a previous hearing, Jones’ case was heard again at Aberdeen Sheriff Court for sentencing yesterday.
The 34-year-old, who travelled north to the city from Leeds, had not been allowed entry to the building as he was waiting on the results of a coronavirus test.
He instead instructed his solicitor ahead of time outside the court.
Fiscal depute Lucy Simpson said Jones had taken up the role of manager on July 10, 2017.
“Part of his duties included paying staff with access to the club bank account,” she said.
Between August 25 and September 11, the manager made two unauthorised transactions from the club’s account to his own.
In total, £12,185 were transferred between the two.
Miss Simpson said: “A short time later the accused resigned as the manager of the golf club.
“Discrepancies were noted and the police were contacted.”
Jones’ solicitor, Ian Woodward-Nutt, said his client was a first-time offender who had “never” before been in trouble with the law.
He said: “He is a man whose life had fallen to pieces due to a combination of alcohol and cocaine.
“His marriage had been suffering and he found employment at Alford Golf Club unbeknownst to those around him.
“He was struggling with his substance misuse problems.
“There was significant debt. He was in a precarious financial situations and continues to be.”
Mr Woodward-Nutt added: “It is unfortunately he succumbed to temptation and embezzled this sum.
“This is a man who had a good career up until his fall from grace in 2017.”
Imposing his sentence, Sheriff Philip Mann said he was “mindful” the offences had occurred more than three years ago.
Jones, of Oakdene Way in Leeds, was ordered to complete 225 hours of unpaid work.
He was also placed under the supervision of social workers for 18 months.