Misterton man stole from bowling league

In Court
In Court

A convicted thief from Misterton who stole more than £2,000 after becoming treasurer of the Lincoln and District Bowling League has been jailed for four months.

70-year-old Michael Bowerman had three previous convictions for helping himself to other people’s money and had served two previous prison sentences, Lincoln Crown Court heard last Friday.

The court was told Bowerman, from Grove Park in Misterton, near Gainsborough, stole £2,365 from the league between September 2011 and May last year after becoming treasurer when his predecessor fell ill.

Other members of the league became suspicious when Bowerman twice cancelled the annual general meeting and refused to hand over the league’s Nationwide passbook for an audit, the court heard.

Jeremy Janes, prosecuting, said Bowerman was confronted when inquiries with the building society highlighted the discrepancies. Bowerman agreed to pay the money back to the league but gave them two cheques which later bounced.

Police were called in when the league finally lost patience with Bowerman, who had previously served as the chairman and secretary. The court heard that Bowerman had three previous convictions for 31 offences and was sentenced to 21 months’ imprisonment in 1984 for theft from an employee and false accounting.

Mr Janes told the court: “Had the club known about his previous convictions they would no doubt have not given him the responsibility of being treasurer.”

When Bowerman was interviewed by police he admitted spending the money on ‘little things’ such as an occasional meal out. Bowerman denied wasting the cash on luxury items and said his wife never knew about the thefts.

Bowerman pleaded guilty to a single charge of theft between 1st September 2011 and 30th May 2012.

Passing sentence, Recorder Nirmil Shant QC told Bowerman it was the fourth time he had helped himself to other people’s money.

The judge said: “This is a breach of trust. People in the club put their trust in you.You repaid them by stealing their money. Unfortunately this is not the first time you have been tempted. If it had been the first, second or even the third time perhaps you could have been given the benefit of the doubt.But there is a pattern here.”