A former stadium manager at Birmingham City football club who created fictitious employees to pull off a £45,000 con has pleaded guilty to fraud.

Peter Lawrence Smith, who worked for the Championship club as a safety officer, was jailed for 18 months by a judge at the city’s Crown Court.

Smith, of Beverston Road, Perton, near Wolverhampton, was charged in January with a single count of abusing his position to carry out the fraud between December 2009 and April last year.

An internal investigation by Birmingham City found that the 64-year-old had created false employment records to siphon off a total of £45,019.97.

Commenting after the case, Angela Millington, senior prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Peter Smith was employed by Birmingham City Football Club as their safety officer, a job which involved the club putting a lot of trust in him as he had the responsibility of ensuring the safety and welfare of fans and club officials.

“However, Smith grossly exploited his position of trust and abused his senior position in order to dishonestly receive over £45,000, which was used to enrich himself and his family.”

Ms Millington added: “Over a three-year period, Smith and his family received payments for employees who he claimed had carried out work for the club.“The CPS will now be taking steps to recover the amount stolen.”