A WORKING men’s club official has slammed the lenient sentence handed out to a bar manager who stole more than £7,000 in takings.
Scott Livsey was given a suspended sentence at Burnley Crown Court after a judge said it was not worth ruining his life by sending him straight to jail.
He also said it was "inappopriate" to make an order for compensation because Livsey did not have any money to pay.
But Dale Green, vice-president and trustee of the Poplar Club on Wellington Street, Accrington, said: "I think the punishment he has been given is absolutely disgusting.
"We gave a young man a chance to better himself by giving him responsibilities and the chance to take his licensee exams and he just abused us and our trust.
"Six months before the theft the club was on its knees and making a loss. We had only just managed to turn things round when he stole from us.
"When we eventually uncovered what he had done he didn’t seem at all remorseful and just tried to justify it by saying his mum was being threatened because of his previous drug debts."
The court heard how Livsey, 21, of Within Grove, Huncoat, was supposed to be banking the takings of the club.
He had earlier admitted theft and had been committed for sentence by Hyndburn magistrates. He was given 26 weeks in prison, suspended for a year, with 12 months’ supervision.
Recorder John Jones QC told him he had been in a position of trust but added that while a suspended sentence may be regarded as unusual, it was, in his judgement, an unusual case.
He said the appropriate custodial term for what Livsey had done was six months and he would not necessarily serve the full term.
He added: "I pose myself a rhetorical question. Is it worth ruining your life for the sake of three months’ imprisonment? I conclude it’s not."
Silvia Dacre, prosecuting, said Livsey took the cash, totalling £7,028.29, from the club between 21 and 28 June last year.
He had been given responsibility for banking the takings as the staff who usually did it were on holiday.
It became apparent to the club president that the money had not been put into the post office as it should have been on two occasions.
When challenged, Livsey at first insisted he had banked the cash but the following day admitted he had a drugs problem and had given the cash to people who threatened him.
Livsey told the president he had done wrong but said he would try and repay the money.
Miss Dacre continued: "When he was asked how, he shrugged his shoulders and said he didn’t know."
Charles Brown, defending, said Livsey’s job title was perhaps more grandiose than his actual duties. He was not generally responsible for the takings and was in relatively low-paid employment.
The barrister said: "He was presented with the temptation of the cash which unfortunately coincided with threats being made by those with whom he had fallen into debt."
He added: "They made the sort of threats that people often make in that sort of situation, not only to the defendant but to those nearest and dearest to him."