suspended sentence | 

Swimming club fraudster who 'mistakenly' transferred £18k to her account avoids jail

Amanda ‘Mandy’ McKeown, was convicted of fraud against Lisburn City Swimming Club just over a week ago

Amanda McKeown

John Toner

A fraudster who “mistakenly” transferred almost £18,500 from her local swimming club has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Amanda ‘Mandy’ McKeown, was convicted of fraud against Lisburn City Swimming Club just over a week ago.

When approached by Sunday World about her conviction, the fraudster slammed her front door in our reporter’s face, then, while hiding behind a curtain, falsely claimed she was not Amanda McKeown.

Previous court hearings were told the 51-year-old had abused a position of trust she held at the Lisburn club by transferring £18,493 to her bank account in September 2019.

Her defence lawyer previously claimed she had no intention of making a gain for herself but had simply made a mistake she later fixed.

McKeown, of Spring Meadow, Maghaberry, entered a not-guilty plea to the single count of fraud against her but was convicted, with the judge telling her she was lucky the case had not been referred up to the Crown Court.

“All of the money has been paid back which is why [the case stayed] in the Magistrates [Court]. There is an act, but essentially it was an error that she subsequently rectified,” a lawyer told the court.

Described by Lisburn City Swimming Club on Facebook in the past as their “fundraising supremo”, McKeown has worked on behalf of the club for almost a decade.

She has been involved in dozens of events as well as fundraising and organising on behalf of the club.

A post in February 2020 said she was poolside to collect donations and contributions to the organisation.

Five years earlier, she was highly praised for her help at the Antrim Open Swimming Championships.

In an article published online by Northern Ireland World, the club said: “Special mention to Mandy McKeown, who every year puts a big effort into fundraising at the event with the sale of ballot tickets towards a hamper, and this year the printed gala T-shirts.”

Lisburn City Swimming Club was contacted but did not wish to comment.

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