Golf club treasurer faces jail after £11k theft lies

Barry Miller outside Edinburgh Sheriff Court. Picture: Alexander Lawrie
Barry Miller outside Edinburgh Sheriff Court. Picture: Alexander Lawrie
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embezzled thousands of pounds from a prestigious golf club is facing a jail sentence – after he admitted lying to a sheriff.

Barry Miller was in charge of the finances at The Royal Musselburgh Golf Club when more than £10,000 went missing from the club’s accounts four years ago.

Miller, described in court as “a financial wizard”, had claimed he had invested the cash in a bid to turn a profit for the club.

But during his trial the former financial advisor could provide no proof he was ever authorised to do so, or prove where the money actually went.

During a court appearance last month, Miller, from East Pilton Farm Avenue, told Sheriff Kevin Drummond that his father Samuel was looking after £11,500 of the investment’s proceeds which would be paid back to the golf club.

But during yesterday’s court appearance Miller told the sheriff he had given “inaccurate information” and that no money was being held by his father.

Sheriff Drummond then asked Miller, a former financial advisor with HSBC, if there was any difference between “being incorrect and a lie”.

Miller replied: “It was incorrect information I gave you, yes.”

Sheriff Drummond found Miller guilty of embezzling £11,000 while treasurer at the golf club between June 1 and November 8, 2011.

The court had previously heard Miller took over as treasurer at the club in April 2011 and had “casual” conversations with committee members about investing funds.

But after six months it became apparent to committee members that the accounts were in the red and that around £4000 in cash was missing.

Miller was then approached at his home by club captain Arthur Reid, but Mr Reid told the court the 36-year-old treasurer “locked himself in his bedroom and wouldn’t talk to us”.

After the bizarre meeting, Mr Reid was so concerned for Miller’s mental state he went straight to a local police station to report the matter.

Yesterday Miller, who was representing himself, refused to give evidence to the court and did not call any defence witnesses.

Sheriff Drummond deferred sentence for the preparation of a social work and psychiatric reports to October.

The Royal Musselburgh Golf Club is the fifth oldest in the world and prides itself in holding the competition for the oldest golf trophy still competitively played for in the world – the Old Club Cup – which dates back to 1774.