Gipping Angling Preservation Society Secretary stole money for fetish sex and drugs, court told

David Page leaving Ipswich Crown Court.

David Page leaving Ipswich Crown Court. - Credit: Staff

A former secretary of Gipping Angling Preservation Society embezzled £9,600 to fund his cocaine habit and penchant for fetish sex with prostitutes, a court heard

David Page, of Combs Lane, Stowmarket, was given a suspended prison sentence by Ipswich Crown Court after it heard the society, known as GAPS, was left in financial straits following the theft.

The 38-year-old had pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position at a previous hearing.

Prosecutor John Farmer said to total amount defrauded was £9,655.

Page had been responsible for collection subscriptions for various locations. He would present blank cheques to be signed by GAPS chairman, giving an explanation for them. However, Mr Farmer said in reality Page simply made the cheques out to himself.

When things were looked at more closely there were far too many cheques for £300 being cashed than their should have been and suspicions were aroused.

The court heard early last year a member of the club showed the chairman a video.

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Mr Farmer said in the video “the defendant admitted stealing funds in order to fund a cocaine habit and his interest in, what might be described as, fetish sex as provided to him professionally by prostitutes”.

Noel Casey, mitigating, said Page had been secretary of GAPS since the middle of 2013 and the frauds took place over six months from the middle of 2015.

Mr Casey added: “Although there is some suggestion of drugs were involved in this case, it is not really about that.”

The court heard Page, who runs a small road haulage firm, does not fish anymore.

Mr Casey said: “It’s sad for him that his involvement with this society has ended the way it has.”

Recorder Rex Bryan told Page: “You put the financial standing of this club in jeopardy. Your behaviour towards the society which placed this trust in you was completely shameful.”

Page was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years. He must also pay £9,655 compensation to GAPS within 14 days or face six months in jail if in default. Page was ordered to pay £1,500 court costs and £100 to the victims’ fund.

In addition he must complete 150 hours’ unpaid work in the next 12 months