Kirkcaldy man embezzled over £60,000 from Clayton Caravan Park

Cupar Sheriff Court.
Cupar Sheriff Court.

A FORMER manager of Clayton Caravan Park near Dairsie has been convicted of embezzling more than £60,000 from the business.

Kevin O’Neill (63) was found guilty today (Friday, June 29) after a two-week trial at Cupar Sheriff Court.

Jurors took around two hours to reach guilty verdicts on 13 of the charges O’Neill was facing, which involved sums of up to £12,000.

They returned a not proven verdict on a further charge.

The total amount — embezzled between June 2008 and March 2010 — came to £62,548.

O’Neill, of 7 Shepherd Street, Kirkcaldy, will be sentenced by Sheriff Charles Macnair on August 2.

The jury had heard over the two weeks that O’Neill’s £63,000-a-year duties involved selling caravans, running the park, sorting out customers’ problems and organising maintenance staff.

But park co-owner Dorothy Kennedy told the court that money from caravan sales and site fees had been unaccounted for on a number of occasions.

A joint minute of agreement between prosecution and defence was placed before the court detailing instances when it was accepted that O’Neill was given sums of cash which had not been entered in the day book of the business.

But O’Neill claimed that he had carried out false transactions on the instructions of park co-owner Colin Kennedy.

And he said he had later covered up his boss’ attempts to “cook the books” because he loved his job.

In his summing-up to the jury, prosecutor Brian Robertson said: “Either the accused is the culprit and he has embezzled money, or Colin Kennedy is the real culprit and the accused is just the scapegoat.

“That is the key issue.”

But giving instructions to the jury, Sheriff Macnair said O’Neill could be found guilty even if jurors believed Mr Kennedy was involved too.

However, they declined to implicate Mr Kennedy when returning their guilty verdicts.

O’Neill, who first appeared on petition in August 2010, will be sentenced following the preparation of a criminal justice social work report.