SNOOKER: Fine for shamed Lee after he pleads guilty to conning a fan
5:30am Tuesday 10th June 2014 in By Craig Jones, Reporter
SHAMED Snooker player Stephen Lee conned a fan who bought his cue, a court heard.
Lee, 39, of Birch Gardens, Hilperton, appeared at Swindon Magistrates’ Court, yesterday, and pleaded guilty to a charge of fraud by false representation. The former World No 5, currently banned from the sport for 12 years after being found guilty of match-fixing, agreed to sell his cue to a fan Marco Fai Pak Shek for £1,600.
Mr Shek, who lives in Hong Kong, had approached Lee through Facebook and the men agreed the sale last July.
Prosecutor Michelle Hewitt told the court that Mr Shek had transferred the payment into the bank account of Lee’s wife with the snooker player agreeing to have modifications carried out on the cue before sending it.
“Following the transfer, the defendant failed to send the snooker cue or make any arrangements for the modifications to be carried out as agreed,” Ms Hewitt said. “When there was no sign of the snooker cue, a report was made to the police. They carried out an investigation and arrested the defendant.
“The defendant was still using the cue as his own personal property."
Lee was arrested on January 24. The court heard that he contacted Mr Shek informing him that he’d deliver the cue personally and give him signed photographs if he dropped the complaint against him - which Mr Shek didn’t.
Defence solicitor Mark Glendenning said that Lee regretted his actions and said the snooker player had endured a difficult year.
“He offers his apologies to Mr Shek,” he said. “Unfortunately, life took over for Mr Lee. He’s found himself in a number of incidents, which have been publicised, while his wife broke her ankle which left him doing the day to day care of their children. He accepts that he should have sent the cue.”
Lee, who was wearing a black t-shirt, black jacket and blue jeans, was fined £110, and ordered to pay Mr Shek £1,600 in compensation along with £85 prosecution costs and a £20 victim surcharge.
Chairman of the magistrates, John Fryer, said: “Stephen Lee, in arriving at our sentence we have taken into account your previous good character, given you credit for your early plea and also note that you are on benefits.”
Lee was banned from snooker, last September, after being found guilty of seven charges of match-fixing dating back to 2008 and 2009. Unable to compete in the sport, he has been receiving £133 in benefits every fortnight.
Lee refused to comment about the case and his ban.