Gambling addict stole £115,000 of goods from work

PUBLISHED: 08:49 14 October 2020 | UPDATED: 13:03 14 October 2020

Zip Heaters warehouse, Rash's Green, Dereham. Picture: Google Streetview

Zip Heaters warehouse, Rash's Green, Dereham. Picture: Google Streetview

Google Streetview

A man stole more than £115,000-worth of products from his employer to pay for a gambling habit, a court has heard.

Cedar Rise, Mattishall. Picture: Google StreetviewCedar Rise, Mattishall. Picture: Google Streetview

Liam Stockell, 29, was a warehouseman at Zip Heaters UK in Dereham when he was stealing goods to fund his addiction.

Norwich Crown Court heard Stockell stole from the firm at least 22 times between October 2016 and September 2017.

Oliver Haswell, prosecuting, said the defendant stole goods from the company which he later sold via eBay, resulting in him profiting to the tune of about £115,000.

The money was used by Stockell to fund a gambling habit which resulted in losses which he even sold his own car to try and cover.

The thefts were discovered following an investigation carried out by the firm.

Stockell admitted what he had done to his former employer before being spoken to by police for the first time in May 2018 and then again in 2019.

Stockell, of Cedar Rise, Mattishall, appeared at court on Tuesday, October 13 for sentence having previously admitted a single count of theft from his former employer between October 2016 and September 2017.

Andrew Oliver, mitigating, said the defendant admitted his offending and had sold his own car to try and pay back the debt.

Mr Oliver said he has family and friends to thank for getting him out of the trough in which he found himself.

He said his mother has paid off large sums of the debt while he has found another job as a gardener and, but for one blip, he had stopped gambling for 572 days.

Sentencing Stockell to 22 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, Judge Maureen Bacon said gambling “obviously was a massive problem” which had dominated his life at the time.

But the judge acknowledged the defendant had taken action to confront his addiction, including giving his sister responsibility for his finances.

Judge Bacon also ordered the defendant to carry out 300 hours unpaid work.

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