Golf professional jailed for stealing more than

Frazer Baxter diverted money from membership fees into his own account

Charlie Lemay's picture
Mon, 13 Jan 2014
Golf professional jailed for stealing more than

A golf professional and manager has been jailed for three years after he stole more than £40,000 from two clubs.

Frazer Baxter pleaded guilty to two charges of theft and one of false accounting for the crimes he committed at Market Harborough Golf Club and Cosby Golf Club.

Baxter was a club professional at Market Harborough for 21 years but he clearly felt no sense of loyalty to the club as he diverted members’ subscriptions and proceeds from the golf shop into his own account.

He then tried to mask the thefts by creating false invoices and records and even produced a spread sheet at one point to keep track of what he had stolen.

He left his £45,600-a-year role at Market Harborough in order to go to Cosby Golf Club as a secretary and manager.

Prosecutor Tony Stanford said Baxter made a point of taking over the handling of subscriptions in order to divert money into his account but it wasn’t long until his plan was foiled.

A Cosby member complained when a subscription he made was not registered with the club.

Mr Stanford said: "The cheque had been altered and made payable to Baxter, who had forged the club member's initials to allow the money to be paid."

The total stolen from Market Harborough was £26,290 while Cosby was duped for £14,477. Baxter admitted the charges at a hearing on December 13.

David Charman, for Baxter, said: "My client has lost everything – his marriage, his home and his good reputation. He will never be able to pursue this career in the future.

"He is being divorced and the matrimonial home is up for sale. There will be funds to pay compensation to the clubs."

Mr Charman said Baxter was suffering from depression when he started to steal from Market Harborough Golf Club.

"My client was a person of previous good character," he said.

Recorder Andrew Lockhart QC told Baxter: "This was a very high degree of breach of trust and I have no alternative to impose an immediate custodial sentence."