Former+umpire+Darrell+Hair+admits+stealing+cash+for+gambling
Tuesday, 24 October 2017 - 12:47
Former umpire Darrell Hair admits stealing cash for gambling
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Former Australian umpire Darrel Hair captured the news headlines when he no-balled Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan for throwing in a Boxing Day Test in 1995.

However, now he has captured the news headlines for a different reason, which is stealing money for gambling.

"Yep, you got me."

That's what former international cricket umpire Darrell Hair told his Managers at a bottle shop when they confronted him about stealing money from the till.

In the grip of gambling addiction, Hair was working at D'Aquino's Liquor in Orange, in central west NSW, nine years after ending his long and colourful career as an umpire.

In what the magistrate called a "monumental fall from grace", Hair stole $9005.75 between February 25 and April 28 this year.

He was fired from the shop in May when his bosses found CCTV footage of him taking money from the cash register and putting it in his pants pocket.

"[Hair] stated that he had no excuse for his dishonesty and he had let his gambling get too far out of control during the early months of 2017 and failed to react to the signs that it was out of control," the document said.

He made full admissions when interviewed by police.

"My client has been in the public eye for many years and this is a bit of a fall for him, to find himself before the court in these circumstances," Hair's solicitor Andrew Rolfe said.

"This is an aberration in the life of a man who, prior to this, had a lifetime of service to the community and to a sport that he loved."

Magistrate Michael Allen said Hair's actions were a breach of trust but noted Hair had repaid the stolen money, written letters of apology, and was in counselling for depression and addiction.

Allen sentenced Hair to an 18-month good behaviour bond and did not record a conviction, stressing the law treats everyone the same way, regardless of public standing or privilege.

"There are some in our community, in particular on commercial radio, who speak with loud voices for justice to be stern and unrelenting," Allen said.

"But that would undermine what it sets out to achieve."

Allen said gambling ads were everywhere, and gambling addiction was "no less real than an addiction to drugs ... or alcohol".

"It's a journey he will live with, and no doubt struggle with, on a daily basis for the rest of his life."

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