Woman avoids jail for Hibs ticket scam

Todd sold tickets for games in 2011. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Todd sold tickets for games in 2011. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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A WORKER at Easter Road who sold match tickets to unsuspecting football fans before pocketing the cash has avoided being sent to prison.

Judith Todd, 38, was sentenced to community service for the scam which centred on games involving Hibs and other SPL sides between September 2011 and October 2011.

The city’s sheriff court heard on Wednesday how Todd - who is understood to have been employed by a contractor - took advantage of the system at the club for tickets for away fans that hadn’t been sold.

The court heard that when the unsold briefs were returned to Easter Road, Todd would put them aside and then sell them onto football fans at match day.

The scam generated a total of £3,800 and was uncovered after Hibs bosses grew suspicious about what was happening on match days.

Todd was then identified as the person behind the scheme and was arrested by police.

The story emerged after Todd, of Penicuik, Midlothian, pleaded guilty to fraud before Sheriff James Scott at proceedings last month.

She admitted defrauding her employers at matches involving Hibs and Dundee United and Hibs and St Johnstone.

Sentence had been deferred until today in order for the court to obtain reports about her character.

After hearing how Todd had mental health problems and had fully co-operated with the authorities, Sheriff Scott sentenced her to perform 250 hours community service.

At the earlier appearance, the court heard that Todd had been in a position of trust and was trusted by bosses to work honestly with tickets that had been returned to the side.

But she pocketed hundreds of briefs and then sold them to fans who were looking for tickets on match day.

Defence solicitor Iain Tweedie handed Sheriff Scott a letter from his client’s mental health nurse.

Todd sat in the dock and wept as her lawyer pleaded for leniency.

Mr Tweedie told the court that Todd felt remorse - and he urged the sheriff not to send her to prison.

Mr Tweedie also said that Todd had financial problems at the time of the offence.

He added: “It will have an impact on her mental health. She has sought to co-operate with the authorities.

“There is a very little likelihood that she will re-appear in court again.”

Passing sentence, Sheriff Scott said he was persuaded that he could deal with the matter by imposing a non custodial sentence.

Sheriff Scott added: “This is a very serious matter - to steal from your employer is a very serious breach of trust.

“However, I am persuaded that you were under substantial pressure in relation to your mental health problems and finances.

“In this case, you will perform 250 hours of unpaid work in the community.”