Doncaster accountant jailed for stealing £289k from tennis club

Dave Rainey
Dave Rainey

A cheating Doncaster accountant who stole more than £250,000 from the Yorkshire Lawn Tennis Club has been jailed for two years.

David Rainey, of Barum Road, Bessacarr, was convicted of fraud by making a false representation after he admitted stealing a total of £289,024.76 from the sport’s regional governing body.

Hull Crown Court was told Rainey, aged 60, had managed to repay £108,000 after selling his family home, but had lost his businesses in the process and now has little chance of ever repaying the full amount owed.

Concerns were first raised about the Doncaster accountant by the Yorkshire Lawn Tennis Club, based in Goole, at a meeting in 2012 over a payment of £30,000 to Doncaster Lawn Tennis Club.

Stephen Welch, prosecuting, said it had been paid ‘to cover money that Mr Rainey had misappropriated from the club’.

It was estimated Rainey had taken more than £70,000 from Yorkshire LTA, which agreed not to inform police on the understanding he would pay it back.

But the matter was eventually reported over fears the money would not be recovered.

The police investigation that exposed the true scale of Rainey’s fraud between 2006 and 2012.

Rainey was a club stalwart at the Doncaster Lawn Tennis Club for more than 40 years and treasurer for several years.

He was suspended as treasurer in early 2013 at Doncaster LTC after the financial discrepancies were discovered.

Rainey repaid more than £40,000 which had gone missing from the Saxton Avenue club in Bessacarr, which has 12 courts and is the biggest tennis club in the borough.

Adrian Strong, defending, said Rainey, who had been caring for his mother following the death of his father, felt responsible for the staff at his businesses and was under ‘enormous mental pressure’.

But he was too ‘proud’ to admit he was in trouble, or ask for help, Mr Strong said.

Rainey and his wife decided to become foster parents in 2006, and within days of being approved took care of day-old twins from a difficult background, who were expected to have significant learning difficulties.

They were not thought ‘viable’ for adoption, Mr Strong said.

He said the prognosis was now better for the twins, but the Raineys did not know that when they took them on.

Mr Strong said Rainey had sold his home as he tried to repay the money, and now lived there as a tenant.

He said he had ‘let himself down, let his family down, and let tennis down’.

Sentencing Rainey to two years in jail, Recorder Richard Wright QC told him: “There is now no prospect, in my judgment, that those you stole from will be fully compensated.”

He added: “The children you adopted had nothing – you gave them everything they needed.

“I think you realise now that instead of money and material things, it’s love and support that matter.

“I accept that in every sense for your friends and your family and for you, that this case is a tragedy.

“Powerful though that mitigation is, I can’t avoid an immediate custodial sentence in your case.

“That is so because of the persistence over the time of the fraud and the value that you stole.”