A JUDGE has branded a compensation payout of £10 from a woman who fleeced a junior football club in Bradford out of £15,000 as "an absolute insult" after an investigation found she had none of the stolen cash left.

Jemma Blackburn was sentenced at Bradford Crown Court in April for frittering away the money that the parents of 130 children at Westwood Juniors FC had "scrimped and saved" over four years.

Today, Blackburn, 35, who was acting treasurer at the club, was back in court for a confiscation hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Robert Galley, for the Crown, said her benefit from the fraud was £15,250 but her available assets were "a nominal £10".

Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC replied: "These were very mean offences. A lot of money from a very well respected and worthy community activity went to Miss Blackburn."

Mr Galley acknowledged that when Judge Durham Hall sentenced Blackburn, of Ascot Parade, Horton Bank, Bradford, to a suspended term of imprisonment, he said he wanted the club to get its money back.

He also told Blackburn she would have gone to prison had the club not survived.

Mr Galley said: "There are a number of significant debts and she is on benefits of little over £200 a fortnight to cover her living expenses."

But Judge Durham Hall said of the £10 on offer: "This would be an insult to these people. An absolute insult. Where did the money go?"

Mr Galley replied: "Day-to-day expenditure."

Nigel Jamieson, Blackburn's barrister, said: "She has lost her job and separated from her husband and hasn't been able to get further work.

"She has no means at all at the moment but that could change."

Judge Durham Hall responded: "There is a legitimate interest in courts not being made to make orders that are derisory and bring the system into disrepute. I am extremely troubled, bearing in mind the effect of this will be to simply pour salt into the wound."

He added: "There is a strong suspicion that this money was frittered away by this woman and others."

Financial investigator Gary Walton reported that the football club had survived after parents paid into a fund to secure its future.

Mr Galley said that a thorough examination of Blackburn's finances had disclosed no hidden assets or "tainted gifts" bought with the embezzled cash.

If the judge declined to make the order, there would have to be a full court hearing into the matter.

"If he (Mr Walton) can't find anything, then the court isn't going to find anything," Judge Durham Hall said.

He asked Mr Walton to explain to the football club that he was "deeply troubled" by the £10 compensation order.

"It is really not going to make them very happy is it?" he said.

Mr Galley said that making the £10 payment part of a Proceeds of Crime Order meant that if Blackburn had any "windfall gains" in the future they could be seized to pay the money owed.

Judge Durham Hall ordered that the £10 be paid in compensation to the club within 28 days.

After the hearing, Julia Wilkinson, Westwood Juniors chairman and secretary, who attended court for the hearing, said: "It is just frustrating. I think that the justice system is so soft.

"How does this stop someone from re-committing a similar offence?

"This has affected a lot of people. Parents scrimped and saved to pay their subs and she had just been spending it."

But Mrs Wilkinson said some good had come from Blackburn's greed and meanness.

Local people had rallied to help the club, with one Bradford business donating £500.

"The club is strong again because of the support and the fundraising.We had so many people come forward to donate money to us," she said.

Blackburn, who stole from the club between April 2012 and March 2016, pleaded guilty to a single charge of fraud ahead of April's sentencing hearing.

Her dishonesty came to light after her landlord, who was chasing up her rent arrears, gave the club letters from the bank stating nothing was left in its account.

The court was told that when Blackburn had been appointed club treasurer around £15,000 was being held in an HSBC account to accrue interest.

When the club tried to transfer the account to Yorkshire Bank in June 2015, five attempts were made but all the cheques were not honoured because of insufficient funds.

In a victim impact statement, Mrs Wilkinson said that when Blackburn’s crimes came to light, it left her “questioning her faith in human nature.”

Mr Jamieson said Blackburn had been “vilified, abused, and threatened” because of her actions.

She was given an eight month jail sentence, suspended for a year, with 200 hours of unpaid work, a six-month curfew, and a 15-day rehabilitation activity requirement.