Judo: Inman is cleared of dishonesty

SLOPPY accounting, not criminal dishonesty, was behind a batch of altered receipts which led to the departure of Roy Inman, the former manager of Britain's successful women's judo squad, an industrial tribunal decided yesterday.

Having conceded constructive and unfair dismissal of Inman, the British Judo Association failed in its attempt to prove that Inman was criminally dishonest in his accounts.

Clearing him of any suggestion of dishonesty for personal gain, Christopher Goodchild, the chairman of the industrial tribunal, said: 'Roy Inman has had glorious success - in his profession, he got as high as you can get. He trained the women's team and put them in the front rank in world sport.'

But he criticised Inman's accounting procedures. 'Over the years, he was allowed to run his own empire, and there is no doubt that the accounts were presented in a chaotic manner. It was the broad-brush approach.'

The BJA had presented evidence of nine receipts totalling pounds 206 where figures and dates had been altered, all dating from the three years leading to the Barcelona Olympics where his team won one silver and two bronze medals. It included a pounds 13.60 bill for ice-cream consumed by members of his junior team in Austria in 1990. This was out of a total of 3,000 receipts and a budget of pounds 250,000.

Inman said he changed the receipts 'to save hassle'. The tribunal accepted he was simply reclaiming money spent by him on team business. 'He acted like a creative accountant but not for his personal gain,' Goodchild, who found Inman contributed to his dismissal, said. Compensation was settled out of court. Inman said: 'This was not about money - this was about my personal honour. I had to clear my name no matter what it cost in legal fees.'