A CHILDREN’S football referee has admitted a charge of theft from his employer.
Michael James Jenson, 23, a student at Deeside College, was employed as a referee by Leisure Leagues, which organised children’s football throughout the UK.
A court heard it was part of his duties to collect subscriptions from players and bank them within seven days.
But following two matches at Rhyl Leisure Centre in July last year he failed to do so, Helen Tench, prosecuting, said.
He claimed that while on his way to the bank with £405 to pay into the company account he had been mugged by a man in a balaclava.
Jenson claimed it happened in Shotton High Street, but that he was too scared to report it.
Two weeks after the alleged mugging he said that a man had thrown a brick through his window and told him to “watch his back”.
At Flintshire Magistrates Court Jenson, of Howard Street, Connah’s Quay, admitted that he stole the £405 belonging to his employers between June 30 and July 16 last year. He was placed on a 12-month community order, with 100 hours’ unpaid work.
In addition, he was ordered to pay £150 costs to the prosecution because he had initially pleaded not guilty.
Magistrates ordered him to pay the £405 in compensation together with £240 legal costs.
Victoria Handley, defending, told the Mold court Jenson was a young man on a business studies course at Deeside College and he had also taken on a job as a football referee.
He and his partner had had two children but unfortunately both had died at a young age because of muscular dystrophy.
That had placed a strain on the relationship and he was now living with his parents.
Jenson had intended to bank the money but found himself under financial pressure.