Historical society 'betrayed' by treasurer's theft of lottery cash

BETRAYED: Andy Wade, vice-chairman of Keighley Historical Society

CONVICTED: Daniel Moorhouse outside Bradford Crown Court

First published in News

The vice-chairman of a Keighley historical society has spoken of the "betrayal" felt by members after the group's former treasurer was convicted of stealing £8,000 of lottery cash it had been granted.

Former Bradford teacher Daniel Moorhouse, 40, of Laycock, Keighley, was given a suspended prison sentence of 15 months at Bradford Crown Court on Thursday, after he admitted stealing the money between February and May last year to fund his alcohol addiction.

The money, received from the Heritage Lottery Fund, had been earmarked to archive the history of Keighley's old police station and was transferred into Moorhouse's personal account for him to buy equipment and resources.

His deceit was uncovered when Andy Wade, then chairman of the Keighley & District Local History Society, contacted the bank and found Moorhouse had made a number of unauthorised transactions, including one cheque on which he had forged the signature of the society's secretary.

"It shows a complete lack of integrity to steal from your friends and colleagues," said Mr Wade.

"We challenged him and gave him every opportunity to come clean, but he told us a pack of lies.

"It's a betrayal of confidence, and I don't believe he is sorry about the stress he has caused."

Mr Wade stated the group was "determined" to continue with the project with or without the grant money, which Moorhouse was ordered to pay back in full within six months or face being recalled to court for a confiscation hearing.

"We're not going to let this beat us," said Mr Wade. "Our other members have shown great integrity and understanding, and the future for the society is still bright."

Sentencing Moorhouse, who the court heard had "fractured his life" through alcohol dependency, Judge Jonathan Rose said: "This country thrives on organisations such as this history society, like-minded individuals who care about their communities.

"You crushed the hopes of many for no good reason, and caused a huge amount of upset.

"Residents will walk past the police station and think, that could have been a museum now if it wasn't for that thief.

"This money will be repaid so the society can thrive long after you have served your sentence."

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