Man who lied about death of player to obtain funds is jailed
BREACHING a community order has landed a man in prison after he was previously caught gaining fund-raising donations for a sports club by lying about a footballer's death.
The Herald reported in April how Steven Clark, aged 37, had sent an email to a bookmakers claiming a player at Birch Coppice Bullets FC had been killed in a road accident and requesting donations.
Clark, of Birchley Heath Road, Birchley Heath, near Atherstone, was sentenced to a Community Order but was back before Warwickshire Magistrates' Court on November 5 for failing to report for unpaid work on three separate occasions.
The Community Order was revoked and Clark was sentenced to 56 days in prison – taking into account it was the second time he had breached the order and there were no medical notes.
Clark, a former press officer for Atherstone Town Football Club, had volunteered his services at Birch Coppice Bullets FC, previously telling magistrates: "In the end I was picking the team and signing players.
"But I know I have gone about this the wrong way."
Clark admitted fraud on November 9, 2011 by making a false representation, namely that he represented Birch Coppice Bullets FC, intending to gain two £10 betting vouchers for himself.
He said the club held a committee meeting and one of the committee members suggested the team should "close", which prompted his actions.
Clark received two £10 betting slips from the bookmakers' firm after stating he was raising funds in memory of a player.
Birch Coppice Bullets FC is a Charter Standard Community Football Club with its members vetted as per Football Association guidelines.
A statement from the club back in April said: "Mr Clark did attend a meeting, at which he was asked who he was, and was clearly told he was not to be involved in our team until the volunteers procedure had been completed by our committee.
"Mr Clark did not follow such procedures and was not an official of our club."