A former history teacher from Bradford, West Yorkshire, who stole most of the lottery funds awarded to a local history society appeared in Bradford Crown Court on Wednesday, June 18, 2014, and pleaded guilty to five offences of theft amounting to £8,000 and one of making an article for use in fraud.
The thefts occurred last year while Daniel Moorhouse, 40, was treasurer of Keighley & District Local History Society. The misappropriated funds were part of £9,900 grant awarded in December 2012, by the UK National Lottery's Heritage Lottery Fund. The money was intended to help fund the creation of a police records archive in Keighley Civic Centre.
Stephanie Hancock, prosecuting, told the court members of the society first became suspicious when Moorhouse stopped attending committee meetings and became difficult to contact.
Subsequent bank enquiries revealed five payments, made between February and May 2013, totaling £10,000, had been transferred from the committee's account into Moorhouse's personal account. Due to the trust originally placed in Moorhouse's good character, four of the checks had been counter-signed by the committee secretary. Moorhouse had forged the secretary's signature on the fifth check.
Defending Moorhouse, barrister Stephen Wood, said his client had suffered personal turmoil's that had resulted in alcohol dependency.
After hearing all the evidence Judge Jonathan Rose sentenced Moorhouse to 15 months in prison, suspended for two years. Moorhouse will also have to pay back the £800 within six months, do 180 hours of community service, and be subject to a curfew imposed by an electronic tag.