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Man who stole £1m from employer to feed gambling addiction ordered to pay back £194,000

PUBLISHED: 08:08 29 May 2019 | UPDATED: 08:08 29 May 2019

Steven Girling from Costessey was addicted to online gambling. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Steven Girling from Costessey was addicted to online gambling. Picture: Neil Didsbury

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A former finance officer who stole £1m from his employer to fund his gambling addiction has been ordered to pay back £194,000 in compensation.

Steven Girling who has been jailed for four years for stealing £1m from his employer. Photo: Norfolk ConstabularySteven Girling who has been jailed for four years for stealing £1m from his employer. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

But more than £150,000 of that will not be seen until Steven Girling has sold his house, Norwich Crown Court was told.

Girling, of Folgate Close, Costessey, worked at sport education firm Premier Education Group (PEG) for more than three years, in which time he siphoned off around £1,031,750.

A hearing on Tuesday heard he had £194,011.16 in available assets to pay back to the company.

Girling, who is serving four years in Norwich Prison for the offence, only spoke to confirm his name at a hearing which lasted five minutes.

He has been given three months to pay the amount which will be paid as compensation to PEG.

Defence counsel John Farmer told the court that around £152,000 of the total available amount was Girling's share of a house which was yet to be sold.

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An earlier hearing in November last year heard the 36-year-old transferred cash from the firm's accounts to his own and blew half of the money on gambling sites online.

The court heard he had gambled £50,000 a day on slot machines and roulette and on one night lost £18,000 but was awarded free VIP trips to Dubai, Ascot and Cheltenham.

The father-of-two did not reveal his gambling addiction to his wife Rashael until after he left the company in October 2017 when the discovery of the theft came to light.

He was arrested in February 2018 and pleaded guilty to theft at Norwich Crown Court in November. He was sentenced to four years in prison in January this year.

In an interview with the Eastern Daily Press in December 2018, he spoke out about his shame for stealing and gambling the money away, but hoped to turn his life around by educating others on the devastating impact of online gambling addiction.

He claimed to be clean for a year and was qualified as a life coach.

Speaking on the issue at the time, he said: "I am ashamed, but I want to use this negative part of my life to try and help others so they don't have to suffer the pain I have put other people through."

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