A former treasurer of the Royal Society of Chemistry has avoided jail after stealing £15,000 from the organisation.
Michael Daniel, who was treasurer of the North East and region branch of the charitable organisation, stole the money between January 2012 and June 2015.
The 70-year-old, of Littlemore Grove in Mirfield, had a career as a senior chemist for the Environment Agency, but was forced to retire in his fifties after a stroke.
Leeds Crown Court heard that the defendant committed the theft, to which he pleaded guilty, while he was in receipt of two pensions and DLA.
The retired chemist had been a member of the charitable society, which has around 43,000 members and a turnover of £50m per year, for decades.
Giles Grant, defending, said that his married client had made ‘ambitious’ plans to repay the money, having even sold his home at a loss and moving into a council house.
But Louise Pryke, prosecuting, revealed that Lloyds Bank had already repaid the money to the society.
Sentencing Daniel to six months’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, Recorder David Kelly said: “You went from a very high income to a reduced one. Although you were not a candidate for Alcoholics and Gamblers Anonymous, you had both these habits and could not afford them.”
He made no order for Daniel to repay the money.
Daniel, who wore a dark blazer, a white shirt and a striped tie to the sentencing, thanked the judge before leaving the courtroom.