(Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)

Reading about disgraced British snooker player Stephen Lee is a mercurial process. You want to hate him, but you also just feel bad for him. That could be why one man decided to throw him a bone and purchase Lee’s old cue for £1,600 (nearly $2,700). Unfortunately, though, the transaction was never completed.

Marco Fai Pak Shek, of Hong Kong, agreed to purchase Lee’s cue on Facebook and sent the money to Lee’s wife’s bank account. There was just one problem — Shek never received the cue. The case eventually went to an English court, where Lee, a former No. 5 player in the world, pleaded guilty, was fined and agreed to repay the purchaser.

The BBC outlined the case:

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.

Hate him? This nugget of information might change your mind: Lee may have been having the fire sale because he’s fallen on hard times. He recently went on welfare.

But before you start feeling too sorry for the guy, chew on this: Lee fell on hard times because he was banned from the sport, which resembles American pool, in 2013 after being found guilty of match-fixing and getting a 12-year ban. His case was so egregious that a judge dismissed his appeal last month and ordered him to pay £125,000 (roughly $210,000) for court costs, Retford Today reports.

Not so fast, though, as we find out Lee does have a conscious. He posted on his Facebook page (via Retford Today) shortly after pleading guilty in the cue case: 

“Well the guilty plead was honest as I took the money from a fan and I new (sic) that I had a plan to be out in hong kong in march to meet with him my self and hand the cue over and have a frame with him…..”

Lee added: “I’m just gutted ……” later in the comments.