Former coach gets home detention

IAN STEWARD
Last updated 15:15 24/06/2014

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A West Auckland softball club chairman who stole $155,000 from his own club has been sentenced to 10 months home detention.

Former Waitakere Bears premier men's coach Wayne Darryl Reeves, 53, appeared in the Waitakere District Court today for sentence after he admitted making a false bank cheque and dishonestly dealing in property worth $155,000.

Reeves was the chairman of Starling Park Sports Club, a partnership between theWaitakere Bears and the Ranui Swanson Football Club.

The court was told Reeves stole the money when funding for a new business venture failed.

The new business did not recoup the money and his theft was discovered when​ the park began defaulting on payments for its new artificial turf softball diamond and sports field.

Judge Anna Johns said Reeves signed a fictitious name on the club's cheque and recorded the payment as being to Wilkinson Civil, the turf contractors, when it was actually paid as his share of the business he wanted to buy.​

Starling Park chairwoman Sandy Mills told the court Reeves' theft had had a "huge impact on the financial status and reputation of the club".

He had shown "disrespect" to the board, the founding members of the club and to the future users.

"It's quite unbelievable you could breach the trust of your peers," Mills said.​

"Where you once had immense mana, this has now been rightly stripped from you."

Reeves' lawyer Richard Earwaker said his client's offending was out of character and he had since done everything he could to rectify the situation

A sum of $50,000 was ready to be paid in reparations, he said.

Mills said any reparation should go to Auckland Council as the council had stepped in with a payment to Wilkinson Civil after the company was left short by the offending.

Judge Johns said she was satisfied that up to the offending Reeves was a valuable member of the community.

The judge said there were a number of people in the community who would like to see Reeves serve a jail sentence but his father was unwell and he still had a job.

She sentenced him to 10 months home detention and ordered him to pay $163,000 in reparations.

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