Assistant manager jailed for stealing more than £15,000 from Norwich employer

Norwich Crown Court. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Norwich Crown Court. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

A trusted assistant manager of a Norwich paint centre stole more than £15,000 from his employer to feed his online gambling addiction, a court heard.

Simon Brock, 33, who worked at the Dulux Decorator Centre, in Whiffler Road, pocketed money from false refunds in 69 transactions and transferred the cash straight into his own personal bank account to fund his gambling, Norwich Crown Court was told.

Andrew Oliver, prosecuting, said the thefts were discovered after the company carried out an audit and found that Brock had stolen £15,166 over an eight month period between July, last year and March, this year.

When challenged about the thefts, Brock made a full confession and pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

Brock who now lives in Middlesbrough, admitted theft and was jailed for six months.

Brock, who represented himself in court, told the judge that he stole the cash to feed his online gambling addiction.

He claimed he was at times spending £300 to £400 a day on his gambling, but said that since his arrest he had moved away from Norwich with a new partner and had now got his gambling under control. He had also been drinking too much at the time of the thefts as he was going through a difficult period.

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He told the court: 'I no longer waste my money in that way.'

Brock said that he had got himself blocked from using the two online sites he used to regularly gamble on.

Jailing him for six months, Judge Katharine Moore told Brock: 'You had a gambling addiction and had been drinking heavily which had clouded your judgement.'

She said it had been a breach of trust and the thefts had gone on for a 'significant period of time.'

Judge Moore said the matter was extremely serious and had no alternative but to impose immediate custody.

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