A WOMAN “abused her position of trust” when she defrauded a youth football club to the tune of more than £100,000 – leaving one of its accounts with just 4p in it.

Sharon Webb, 53, of Normanton Road, Oakridge, was given a two year suspended jail sentence when she appeared at Winchester Crown Court today (February 1) having pleaded guilty to one count of fraud at an earlier hearing.

The court heard how Webb held the position of treasurer at Basingstoke Town Colts Youth Football Club and had “started borrowing funds” when she got into financial difficulties.

Over a seven-year period in the position, the 53-year-old took £101,455 from the accounts of the club, which has charitable status.

Prosecutor, Russell Pine, told the court that club chairman Tony Wilkin has made requests for bank statements and spreadsheets of the club’s finances but “she [Webb] kept forgetting to bring them to meetings.”

Mr Pine said: “Whenever asked about the finances she [Webb] would tell Mr Wilkin that the club account was £13,000 in credit, which was just not true.

“She left the club in the summer of 2017 following disagreements with Mr Wilkin. He then obtained access to the club accounts and found that there was £360 in one and another had just four pence remaining.”

The court heard that Mr Wilkin then requested to see bank statements dating back as far as possible, which revealed the level of “deception” from Webb.

Due to the scale of the loss of funds, the club remains in a position where it struggles to keep running, the court heard.

In a victim Impact statement read to the court Mr Wilkin said: “After I found out what Sharon had done, I found it very hard to motivate people to support the club.

“The club may not survive this financial impact, and this is down to one person who watched as everyone else worked so hard for the club.

“I cannot understand why she did this.”

Defending Webb, Caroline Moonan, told the court that it was the 56-year-old’s financial hardship which had led her to get into the position she was in.

Miss Moonan said: “She really struggled to explain how someone who had been law abiding got into this situation.

“She started borrowing money from the club and repaying it, but it got out of hand.”

The court heard how along with the fraud, Webb has a personal debt of more that £16,000.

Judge Andrew Barnett called Webb’s actions an “unpleasant breach of trust”.

The court heard that to date Webb has paid back more than £82,000 of what she stole from the club.

In sentencing Judge Barnett said: “By your criminal activity you put the position of the club in danger.

“You abandoned the trust put in you as treasurer.”

Webb was sentenced to two years in jail, which was suspended for two years, and also ordered to pay £18,470 in compensation to the club.