Accounts clerk stole £20k from employer to fund gambling addiction

An accounts clerk stole almost £20,000 from his employers to fund his gambling addiction, Lincoln Crown Court was told.

Iain Dalton, a purchase ledger clerk, took the money over a three month period before his thieving came to light while he was away from work having asked for time off to deal with personal problems.

Richard Sheldon, prosecuting, said other staff at Rimmer Brothers at Bracebridge Heath discovered the thefts after a supplier blocked the company’s account over an unpaid bill of £3,500.

Mr Sheldon said: “That began an inquiry which revealed that between 1 October and 11 December the defendant had diverted money into his own bank account that should have been paid to suppliers. This was readily traceable.

“Police were involved. The defendant was arrested. He was taken from work in handcuffs. When he was interviewed he confessed. He said he had stolen the money to fuel his gambling addiction.”

Dalton, 27, of Sibthorp Street, Lincoln, admitted four charges of theft and asked for four other matters to be taken into consideration.

He was given a 12 month jail sentence suspended for 18 months with a rehabilitation requirement of 20 days

Recorder Graham Huston, passing sentence, told him “This is a serious matter involving a significant breach of trust. However, it is clear that at the time you were undergoing a period of crisis. It seems to be that the gambling addiction had taken over.”

Mark Watson, defending, said Dalton had no previous convictions and since the thefts came to light had sought help from Gamblers’ Anonymous.

“It was a problem he didn’t recognise at the time and nobody around him could see it.

“His debts had piled up. He had nowhere to turn and he was desperate.

“This was theft that was always bound to fail. The money was transferred directly into his own account. A simple check showed precisely where that money had gone.”

Mr Watson said that his client is working again and has been offered loans from friends and family which would allow him to repay the money to Rimmer Brothers.