Bobsleigh man Kenny Simm admits stealing friend’s credit card details
The 26-year-old Royal Marine, originally from Brae, had been in the running for a place in the British team’s four-man bobsleigh at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver earlier this year.
But Simm, who spent two seasons in the GB team, said a funding crisis left him unable to pay for sports equipment for the team.
He used fellow bobsledder Paul Cartwright’s credit card to pay for almost £600 worth of kit. Royal Navy diver Mr Cartwright, from Torquay, was a member of the Armed Force’s bobsleigh team.
In total Simm bought £585 worth of equipment from Luton-based Pullum Sports Limited between March and April last year.
And when Mr Cartwright got his card bill, he called in the police who traced the goods to a home in East Lothian and linked the scam to Simm.
Despite initially telling officers he had done nothing wrong, Simm admitted using the card to pay for £585 worth of equipment.
Speaking at his home in Haddington, East Lothian, he said: “The British bobsleigh team was going through a financial restructure. There was no funding available from the British Bobsleigh Association.
“All funding had to be sourced by myself. With the lack of development and funding and structure within the team, the result was my actions. I was actually buying equipment for the team.
“There was a lot of pressure at that time. I broke my neck in March last year and that was all part of the pressure at the time. With the Olympic Games looming in Vancouver it added to the stress.
“I accept the decision of the court, I know it was a mistake and I have moved on from the British Bobsleigh Team and I’m just concentrating on Afghanistan in April with the Royal Marines.”
Simm was originally called up to the GB team in 2007 as a brake-man in the number one team for the Europa Cup Championship in 2008.
But after a crash the following year in St Moritz, Switzerland, which wrecked his bobsleigh, his Olympic dream looked forlorn because he was unable to pay the repair bill.
An Edinburgh firm stepped in and offered to help repair the vehiclem, however injury later last year ruled him out of the Games.
At Haddington Sheriff Court last week Sheriff Peter Gillam ordered him to pay the sports firm compensation after he admitted fraud. Simm will have to pay the compensation at £100 per month.
A spokesman for the British Bobsleigh Association said that he recognised the sport was under-funded but insisted no equipment bought by fraud was for the team.
He said: “It is not a position we recognise and the team has no further involvement with Mr Simm.
“British bobsledding has been short of funding, that is true, but every other athlete has been able to get by without breaking the law.”