Employee stole £90,000 worth of golfing gear

Thief spared prison
Thief spared prison

A golf-club employee who stole £90,000 of golfing accessories and sold them online has been spared a prison sentence.

Former charity worker Andrew Hampson, 45, was employed at Snainton Golf Centre in Scarborough during his two-year thieving spree between September 2013 and October 2015.

The disgraced father-of-two plundered sporting items from the golf retailer’s stock and sold them on E-Bay with the help of an unnamed third party not connected to the club, York Crown Court heard.

Hampson, of Box Hill admitted stealing golf equipment and converting criminal property. Prosecutor David Bradshaw said Hampson had betrayed the close friendship he had with the owner of the golf centre.

He had been entrusted with a supervisory role in the club’s retail sector which gave him direct access to golfing equipment such as clubs.

Hampson was finally rumbled when a golf-club manufacturer which supplied the Snainton store noticed one of their items for sale on E-Bay. The “unsophisticated” ruse was traced back to Hampson. When staff at the golf centre confronted him about it, he owned up and told them he had been “greedy”.

Mr Bradshaw said Hampson profited to the tune of £91,111 and bought a car with the proceeds. At the time of his arrest the amount left in his bank account was £11,478.

Defence barrister Andrew Semple said Hampson’s mammoth thieving spree and “reckless” spending had shocked all those who knew him.

Mr Semple said Hampson “idiotically” began stealing from the golf centre in an attempt to flaunt his ‘wealth’ to his new girlfriend after he and his ex-wife split up.

But his girlfriend had since left him and he was now living with his mother. Deputy circuit judge Michael Taylor said he had decided not to jail Hampson because if he did, he would lose his new job and have to rely on state hand-outs upon release from prison.

Hampson was given an 18-month suspended jail sentence with 200 hours’ unpaid work.