Search

Voluntary treasurer, from Hornchurch, who stole from Essex County RFU now rugby ‘pariah’

PUBLISHED: 10:41 28 March 2014 | UPDATED: 11:08 28 March 2014

Walsh admitted writing cheques to himself. Picture: Michael Fresco

Walsh admitted writing cheques to himself. Picture: Michael Fresco

Archant

A civil servant who stole nearly £9,000 from the Essex County Rugby Football Union (RFU) narrowly avoided jail after a judge heard he is now a “pariah” in the rugby community.

Eugene Walsh, 50, took cash while completing the yearly accounts as a voluntary treasurer.

Walsh, of Craigdale Road, Hornchurch, blew some on a trip and a few possessions but there was no evidence of “living the high life”, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.

Judge Neil Sanders told Walsh, who has since lost his job with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs: “Such was the degree of trust that you were given cheques that had already been signed by your other signatory for you to complete and pay out as appropriate.

“The result of your dishonesty was that a considerable amount of work had to be done by the Essex County RFU and extra time expended by other people in voluntary positions.

“I accept the money was not used for high living and it began from a situation where you were under pressure – that you were not keeping accounts properly and that you then took the opportunity to steal the money.

Tragedy

“The result of this offence is a tragedy for your family and a grave one for the Essex County RFU as somebody they trust abused that position.”

Judge Sanders sentenced Walsh to serve 15 months in prison but suspended the term for 18 months.

He was also ordered to pay £780 in prosecution costs and perform 180 hours unpaid work in the community.

Walsh was caught out when fellow Essex County RFU member Ivor Smith raised concerns.

A full report was ordered and it uncovered a number of anomalies, including cheques which could not be accounted for.

The first cheque written to himself was taken in October 2010 while the next 11 were taken from June 2011 to May 2012.

Walsh claimed the money was taken as expenses and he had simply not followed procedure.

The money has been paid back by Walsh but he has lost his standing in the rugby world after 44 years playing, coaching and administrating.

Richard Atkins QC, defending Walsh, said: “With his own stupidity and criminality he has destroyed himself”.

He was described as a “pariah in the rugby community”.

Walsh admitted a single count of theft while a second count of false accounting was ordered to lie on the court file.

Latest Romford News Stories

17:20

The organisers of We Are FSTVL have reassured festival goers that they will update their security plans “where necessary” in response to last night’s bomb attack in Manchester.

In a world obsessed with self promotion and social media, it isn’t too hard to understand how many of us find ourselves caught up in our own self-absorbed bubbles.

Following the terror attack in Manchester on Monday, the chief executive of Havering Council urged people “not to let this atrocity divide our communities”.

Two men, both in their 20s, were stabbed in two separate attacks just a few minutes apart late last night.

A teenager has described the 20-year-old who was stabbed to death in The Brewery last week as an “amazing boyfriend”.

Yesterday, 17:00

When Beatrice Way suffered a massive stroke, her husband Alexander remembers clearly thinking it meant the end of their dream to have a baby.

Yesterday, 16:26

More than a thousand fundraisers were bathed in glorious sunshine – and colourful bubbles – as they tackled a 5km course.

Yesterday, 15:02

A boating enthusiast whose dream of owning his own vessel was ruined by Brexit has set up the country’s only boat sharing website.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now