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Lowestoft debt gambler escapes jail

PUBLISHED: 10:07 11 February 2009 | UPDATED: 22:25 05 July 2010

A 24-year-old gambler who ran up a debt of more than £8,000 using his mother's credit card to place bets online avoided a prison sentence yesterday.

David Read, of Uggeshall Close in Lowestoft, used a Virgin credit card to place bets on gambling websites between September 10 and October 25 last year.

A 24-year-old gambler who ran up a debt of more than £8,000 using his mother's credit card to place bets online avoided a prison sentence yesterday.

David Read, of Uggeshall Close in Lowestoft, used a Virgin credit card to place bets on gambling websites between September 10 and October 25 last year. In just over a month Read, who pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation at an earlier hearing, ran up a debt of £8,268.92 and had been hiding letters from the credit- card company from his mother.

She only found out about the debt when she read a letter stating that she had missed the minimum payment on her card.

The court heard yesterday that Read's mother did not want him to go to prison but felt he needed to be punished and needed help to deal with his gambling addiction.

Read said: “My mother is upset that I've done it. We have spoken about it.”

Sentencing Read at Lowestoft Magistrates' Court yesterday, District Judge David Cooper said: “You used your mother's computer and card to saddle her with debt and ruin her credit rating. You have caused your mother a lot of pain by your perpetual offending.”

He sentenced Read to a 12-month community order with supervision and a requirement to complete a one-to-one programme to address his gambling addiction.

He also banned Read from entering any arcade, betting shop or gambling establishment for 12 months and from using a computer for gambling purposes.

Read was told to pay £60 in costs and £5,000 compensation to Virgin credit cards.

Judge Cooper said: “I don't expect you to come back here. Any breaches in this order will be reserved for me and if you miss appointments you will go to prison. I think your mother is brilliant and she sounds very sensible. I will keep my fingers crossed for you.”

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