Malcolm John Blackledge faces court over $15,000+ theft

A man who stole $15,470.42 from a local sporting organisation will be sentenced in Bunbury next month.

Malcolm John Blackledge returned to the Bunbury Magistrates Court on Thursday, September 26.

Represented by defence lawyer Michael Joubert, Blackledge admitted to one charge of stealing as a servant.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Greg Ward told the court Blackledge became president of the Bunbury Barbarians Junior Rugby Club in 2018.

He was then given a Commonwealth Bank debit card linked to the club's account.

The account was specifically set up to cover equipment costs and invoices.

Between December 2018 and June 2019, Blackledge used the card 114 times for personal matters.

Following his arrest in July, Blackledge admitted to the offences. "I had no money in my account," he told police.

Mr Joubert said his client lost his job as a truck driver, as a result of his actions.

"He feels remorseful and embarrassed about it. He now wants to make it up to the club," he said.

The court heard that Blackledge had no prior offences, had entered an early guilty plea, and was a person of "previously good character".

Blackledge has since paid the money back in full.

Sgt. Ward spoke out against the possibility of a spent conviction.

He said Blackledge had "led the club into misery" over an extended period of time.

"It became normal practice and a normal way of life for him," Sgt. Ward said.

"Employers must be made aware of his actions."

Calling for a pre-sentence report, Magistrate Belinda Coleman remanded the matter to Monday, November 4 for sentencing.