Great Yarmouth manager stole more than �64,000 to fund gambling habit

An assistant manager at a Great Yarmouth bingo club stole more than �64,000 because of his own gambling addiction, a court heard.

Thomas De Wilton Holmes, 30, found his gambling addiction got out of control after he won �11,000 on online gambling. He kept trying to win more cash but instead lost his money, and then started stealing from his employer, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Kevin Eastwick, prosecuting, said that De Wilton Holmes had worked as assistant manager at the Palace Bingo club in Church Plain for seven years, but only started stealing cash from his employer about a year ago because of his mounting debts.

He said the matter came to light after De Wilton Holmes failed to bank the takings. Further investigations found that he had stolen, in total, �64,373.

When confronted about the matter he admitted what he had done.

'He said he had taken money for about a year following a big win on an online gambling site of �11,000. This seemed to urge him to win more but the win never materialised.'

De Wilton Holmes of East Road, Great Yarmouth, admitted theft and was jailed for a year.

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Sentencing him, Judge Stephen Holt said that the gambling win had started his addiction.

John Morgans, for De Wilton Holmes, said: 'But for his gambling addiction he would have never committed any sort of offence. The remorse he expresses is genuine.'

Mr Morgans said that De Wilton Holmes planned to get the help of Gamblers Anonymous.

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