Manager of Great Yarmouth amusement arcade stole more than £36,000 to fund gambling addiction, court hears

PUBLISHED: 17:17 22 August 2018

Norwich Crown Court. Picture Adrian Judd.

Norwich Crown Court. Picture Adrian Judd.

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A manager of a Great Yarmouth amusement arcade stole more than £36,000 from his employer after becoming addicted to gambling, a court heard.

David Reid, 34, worked at the Playnation arcade at the Vauxhall Holiday Park and as well as stealing money to fund his gambling habit he also needed cash to repay a loan shark, the court heard.

Peter Gair, prosecuting, said the thefts were discovered in May, this year, after a member of staff asked for coins and he confessed there was no cash as he had messed up and borrowed money from the safe.

He said that the area manager was informed about the matter and Reid was interviewed over the thefts.

Mr Gair said that Reid admitted he kept a record of the money he had taken over a five month period which amounted to £36,904 and said that he was hoping to repay the cash with a gambling win.

Mr Gair said: “He admitted he had a gambling problem and had continued to steal in the vain hope he might win enough to repay the cash. Of course that was not realistic.”

He said the records which Reid kept did in fact match figures from an audit and Mr Gair said this no doubt showed that if possible he would have paid back the stolen cash.

Reid, of Nuffield Close, Gorleston, admitted theft of £36,904 between January and May this year.

Danielle O’Donovan, for Reid, said he had now sought help for his gambling addiction. and had got himself voluntarily barred from using online gambling sites.

She said his gambling problem was made worse when he borrowed money of a loan shark, who made threats against him.

Ms O’Donovan said: “He got himself in a complete mess.”

She said the list he kept showed he had a misguided hope he could pay back the cash if he got a gambling win.

She said he now was out-of-work and relying on benefits so was not in any position to pay anything back.

Judge Stephen Holt imposed an eight month sentence suspended for 18 months and ordered him to do 150 hours unpaid work.

He said that Reid had been in a position of trust at the arcade but accepted he had not stole the cash to fund a lavish lifestyle: “You were stealing to try to deal with a gambling habit you had.”

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