Stephen Lee admits fraud after selling snooker cue for £1,600 and never sending it
The disgraced player is living on benefits after being banned from snooker
Monday 09 June 2014
Disgraced snooker player Stephen Lee has pleaded guilty to fraud after selling his personal cue to a Facebook fan for £1,600 and failing to post it to Hong Kong.
Lee, who was once ranked fifth in the world for the sport, was banned from snooker for 12 years for match fixing and failed to overturn the bar earlier this month.
The 39-year-old, from Trowbridge in Wiltshire, must pay fines totalling £1,815 after admitting fraud at Swindon Magistrates’ Court.
The court heard Lee agreed to sell his personal cue, a John Parris Ultimate, to Marco Fai Pak Shek, a fan based in Hong Kong, through Facebook.
Mr Shek paid the £1,600 into a bank account belonging to Lee’s wife but the cue was never sent and Lee continued to use it.
The player insisted he intended to post it but was distracted by “a number of difficulties in his professional life”.
After a long legal battle to overturn his snooker ban, he was ordered to pay £125,000 in costs when his bid failed earlier in June.
The court heard that after Mr Shek complained to the police when the cue did not arrive in January, Lee sent him victim an email promising to “personally deliver” it to Hong Kong.
The email read: “If you want the cue, you need to drop the charges and I will sign some pictures for you.”
Mr Shek refused to drop the charges and the case against Lee, who has no previous convictions, continued.
After he admitted fraud by false representation, he was fined £110 and told to pay Mr Shek £1,600 in compensation, along with £85 costs and a £20 victim surcharge on Monday.
John Fryer, chairman of the bench, told Lee: “In arriving at our sentence at this matter, we have taken into account a number of things - your previous good character, you have not appeared before the courts before, and we have given you credit for your early guilty plea.”
“We also note that you are on benefits and your income is significantly lower.”
The court heard he could not pay the total amount immediately and was living on benefits because of his ban from snooker.
A tribunal last year found him guilty of fixing seven games in 2008 and 2009.
Representing Lee, Mark Glendenning said his client had repeatedly apologised to Mr Shek for failing to send the cue.
Mr Glendenning said Lee had previously sold items to fans through his Facebook page “without incident”.
A message appeared on Lee's Facebook page stating that he was “gutted”.
The message read: “Well the guilty plead was honest as I took the money from a fan and I new (sic) that I had a plan to be out in hong kong in march to meet with him my self and hand the cue over and have a frame with him.....”
Additional reporting by PA
- 1 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 2 Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
- 3 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 4 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Isis publicly behead man in Syrian town square for 'insulting Allah' as he screams for help
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Sir David Attenborough interview: The one question about life that still baffles him
Isis publicly behead man in Syrian town square for 'insulting Allah' as he screams for help
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: NON-CONTENTIOUS (0-2 PQE) - A rare opportunity...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Financial Analyst is required to join...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the South West'...
£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This major European Intellectual Propert...