Golf club chief ‘hid in room’ after money query

Barry Miller was treasurer at the Royal Musselburgh Golf Club. Picture: TSPL
Barry Miller was treasurer at the Royal Musselburgh Golf Club. Picture: TSPL
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A TREASURER at a prestigious golf club locked himself in his bedroom after being confronted about missing cash, a court has heard.

Barry Miller was in charge of finances at the Royal Musselburgh Golf Club when thousands of pounds allegedly went missing from the club’s accounts.

He locked himself in his bedroom and wouldn’t talk to us

Arthur Reid

Committee members claimed the “financial wizard” had told them he had invested the cash, even though he had been given no permission to do so.

But when the funds failed to reappear in the golf club’s accounts members confronted the HSBC financial adviser at his home over the missing £12,000.

Club captain Arthur Reid said he attempted to speak to the 36-year-old treasurer at his Edinburgh home but claimed Mr Miller locked himself away in his bedroom and refused to come out and explain himself.

Miller is on trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court accused of embezzling £12,248. He denies the charge.

The court was told he took over as treasurer at the non-profit golf club in April 2011 and had “casual” conversations with committee members about investing the club’s cash to make a profit.

Mr Reid told the court that, despite Miller having not been granted permission to invest the club’s finances, money started going missing from the accounts.

He said: “Mr Miller was nominated [for the position of treasurer] as we knew he was a financial adviser with HSBC. He said casually that he could make money for the club by investing.

“But [in November 2011] I identified some things were amiss and on that date we went to Mr Miller’s house. I was concerned about his state of health as he locked himself in his bedroom and wouldn’t talk to us.

“He was very defensive and agitated and gave us no reasonable explanation to what was going on. He was not very coherent and we didn’t get any coherent answers to where the money was.”

Mr Reid, 55, and club secretary Jim Gilmour then went to a police station to report the matter.

Mr Reid told the court he was subsequently forced to pay thousands of pounds of his own money into the club’s accounts just to keep it afloat. The Royal Musselburgh Golf Club is the fifth oldest in the world.

He said Miller, from Edinburgh, had informed him he had made around “20 investments” in the name of the club and all the maturities would be paid into his own account and he would then transfer it to the club’s account.

But, after several discussions with the club’s Royal Bank of Scotland manager, Mr Reid said it had become apparent “there had been no investments”.

Former treasurer Stanley Love told the court that when he handed over the position to Miller, the golf club’s “cash flow position was healthy” and there had been “no financial difficulties” during his time in the role.

The trail will conclude later this month.