Gambling addict funds habit with stolen car parts

car parts on grey background

A gambling addict who raised more than £80,000 by selling car parts from the business where he worked, has been given a suspended sentence.

The case, reported by Kent online involved a Kent man who worked at an auto body shop in the county. He sold car accessories including alloy wheels on Ebay in order to fund a gambling habit, even going to the lengths of arranging a courier to pick up the parts.

He sold the parts over a period of five years, raising a total of £80,689 which he used to fund a gambling habit. According to the prosecution in this case, he worked in an administrative role with the car company and had access to the company’s stock, which included items such as trims, alloy wheels and bumper bars that were due to be scrapped. Many of the items he sold were smuggled out in his rucksack, but heavy items were taken away by courier.

His thefts were only discovered when an auditing group analysed the company’s accounts, which triggered an investigation leading to his sacking and criminal charges.

Debt to society

Defending her client, Fiona Robertson offered mitigating factors including the fact that he pleaded guilty and expressed considerable remorse. According to reports, he had taken steps to tackle his gambling addiction, including self-exclusion from all local bookmakers and online betting portals, and has since found new work.

In reaching her decision, judge Heather Baucher accepted that he had carried out the theft to fund a gambling addiction, and imposed an 18 month suspended prison sentence along with 300 hours of community service to enable him to repay his debt to society. He was also ordered to pay £425 in costs and his assets will be assessed at a proceeds of crime hearing later this year.

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