Stephen Lee guilty of snooker cue fraud sale to Facebook fan
The former world number five snooker player Stephen Lee has been fined for selling his personal cue to a Facebook fan for £1,600 but failing to send it.
The victim, based in Hong Kong, paid the money into Lee's wife's bank account after Lee agreed to arrange for modifications to be made to the cue.
The money was transferred but the player, 39, continued using the cue.
Lee pleaded guilty to fraud at Swindon Magistrates' Court and was fined £110 and ordered to repay the £1,600.
'Drop the charges'
The court heard that when there was no sign of the snooker cue Marco Fai Pak Shek made a report to the police.
Prosecutor Michelle Hewitt told the court Lee had promised to send the cue along with letters of authenticity from himself and cue manufacturer John Parris but when the police carried out an investigation he was still using the cue as his own personal property.
Lee, who lives in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, was then arrested.
Ms Hewitt said Lee emailed Mr Shek saying he was going to personally deliver the cue.
The email read: "If you want the cue, you need to drop the charges and I will sign some pictures for you."
Mr Shek refused to drop the charges and the case continued.
Mark Glendenning, for Lee, said his client had repeatedly apologised for failing to send the cue and had previously sold items to fans on his Facebook site without incident.
He said Lee had found himself embroiled in a number of difficulties which had taken up his time but "accepts in full he should have sent this cue".
Last month Lee's appeal against a 12-year ban for match-fixing was dismissed.
He was found guilty of seven charges in 2008 and 2009 including one concerning a World Championship match after a tribunal hearing in September last year.
He had also appealed against having to pay £40,000 costs, which have now been increased to £75,000.
The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association said he was involved in "the worst case of snooker corruption we've seen".
Lee has been a professional player for more than 20 years and has won five ranking titles.