Former Bacup cricket captain cleared of laundering £91,000 stolen from pensioner
A FORMER cricket club captain, cleared of money laundering a pensioner’s stolen £91,000 savings, has spoken of his two years of ‘absolute hell’.
Timothy Farragher, 30, said it was a massive relief and he ‘shed a tear’ when the jury returned a not-guilty verdict.
He said: “It’s hung over my head for the last two years.
“I let my emotions show after so long having to stay strong and act with dignity and hopefully that’s come across to my friends and family.
“I maintained my innocence throughout and the jury were completely satisfied with my innocence, which I think shows in how quickly they reached a decision.
“I’m eternally grateful to my close friends and family, whose support and belief in me has never wavered."
Mr Farragher, a former skipper at Bacup Cricket Club who notched up 4,000 runs, had denied converting or transferring criminal property during a week-long trial at Burnley Crown Court.
The cash had been stolen from the Lloyds TSB savings account of vulnerable 90-year-old Dennis Taylor and transferred into Mr Farragher's account by Matthew Hayhurst, who was then a senior manager at the bank's Accrington branch.
Hayhurst, 28, of Cotman Close, Britannia, Bacup, was jailed for 18 months last May after admitting theft and fraud by abuse of his management position at the bank.
Mr Farragher, of Heathbourne Road, Stacksteads, said the cash had been passed on to him to place bets for Hayhurst, to keep Hayhurst's gambling addiction a secret.
Speaking moments after the case yesterday, Mr Farragher said he would never 'blindly trust' anyone again.
He said: "I will make sure I’m never in that situation again.
“There are things which got me into this situation that with hindsight, I would’ve done differently.
“I’ve learnt not to blindly trust someone.
"During the trial, when the prosecution were making their case, I was asked some very difficult questions.
“Listening to the charge against me and the evidence they have presented against me, there were terrible moments. I would have been looking at a custodial sentence if I’d been found guilty, but it was only mentioned to me very briefly.
“I’ve got two years of life to catch up on. I’m looking forward to putting this whole sorry affair behind me.”
The jury took just 40 minutes to find Mr Farragher not guilty.
The defendant, who has no criminal convictions, was discharged from the dock by Judge Simon Newell.
When Hayhurst was sentenced last year, the court was told how he had been living a secret criminal life under his employers' noses.
He used his expertise to syphon the money from a dormant account over 16 months, making 25 unauthorised withdrawals in all, totalling £91,210, between June 2010 and October 2011.