A Lancaster restaurant manager who got hooked on gambling stole £9,000 from his place of work.
Christopher Borland admitted his crime after financial irregularities were queried by the Subway chain.
A judge at Preston Crown Court this week gave him twelve months prison suspended for two years, with twelve months supervision and 200 hours’ unpaid work.
The 27-year-old, of Ridge Street, pleaded guilty to a charge of theft.
At the time of the offence, between dates in January and August last year, he had been the manager of the Subway restaurant in Lancaster.
Harry Pepper, prosecuting, said financial irregularities arose due to the late banking of money. The area manager was asked to investigate. Borland called the area manager, asking to meet him in a pub. He admitted taking money and using the cash in gambling. The defendant gave him £245 cash. He walked to the police station and made a full admission to officers.
The money had not been taken in a lump sum, but had taken £100 “here and there”.
He had intended paying the money back and tried to do that by gambling more, falling into a vicious cycle.
Borland, a man of previous good character, had been regarded as hard working and honest by his area manager prior to the offence taking place.
Duncan Nightingale, defending, said the money was taken with the intention of it being paid back.
But things went from bad to worse and Borland ended up deeper in debt. The defendant’s appointment as manager came with a number of stresses. He tried to relieve that by turning to gambling.
Though he had intended to repay the money, he had not won as he had expected to.
Mr Nightingale said: “He obviously realised the net was closing in.
“When approached by his manager he fully admitted he had been stealing money and went with that person to the police station and was interviewed on a voluntary basis.”
Some of the money had now been repaid.
Mr Nightingale added: “He has basically lost pretty much everything as a result of this offence. He is seeking help from an internet group which provides support for problems of gambling and depression.”