Jail term for $90,500 NTCA theft

A MAN who swindled $90,500 out of a Northern community organisation has been jailed for up to 15 months.

Roy Frederick James, 53, of Westbury, was yesterday ordered to pay back the $90,500 he stole from the Northern Tasmania Cricket Association.

But with James on the dole and unlikely to have a career after prison the NTCA has little prospect of ever recovering the money.

In a victim impact statement, the NTCA said the effect of the crime had been "severe" on the community-based organisation.

The stolen funds had come from property sales and was intended for member clubs and infrastructure upgrades.

James, who had sole control of the NTCA's finances, began stealing the money less than a month after being elected voluntary finance director at the association in August 2012.

The accused transferred the money to his bank account in amounts ranging from $1000 to $5000 a couple of times a month over the course of a year.

His failure to table the NTCA's financial report in June prompted suspicions among board members, who were unable to track down James for a period of time.

James eventually came clean to president Paul Clark before turning himself in to police.

He admitted to detectives at the Launceston CIB that he had gambled away 75 per cent of the stolen money.

The court previously heard that James was deluded in believing he could turn blackjack odds in his favour using maths.

James had spent most of his life involved in the cricket community, rising though the ranks to become a respected senior umpire.

"No doubt he'll find re-engaging with that group very difficult," Justice David Porter said in Launceston's Supreme Court yesterday.

Despite finding James remorseful Justice Porter said his actions amounted to a gross breach of trust.

"This was a sustained course of dishonesty and deception," he said.

He ordered James serve at least eight months' jail before being eligible for parole.

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