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Lowestoft gambler barred from bookies

PUBLISHED: 09:57 11 February 2009 | UPDATED: 22:25 05 July 2010

A GAMBLING-addicted man who stole from his new employer after two weeks in his job was yesterday barred from gambling establishments and betting shops.

A GAMBLING-addicted man who stole from his new employer after two weeks in his job was yesterday barred from gambling establishments and betting shops.

Robert Smith, 27, of St Peter's Street, Lowestoft, started working at a freight forwarding company in the town last November.

Magistrates were told yesterday that when Smith had been at the work placement at Arch Transport and Trading for two weeks, he fraudulently signed a cheque from the company's account.

Tess James, prosecuting, told Lowestoft Magistrates' Court that Smith wrote a cheque for £400 to himself on December 2 last year. She said that, as the signature did not match the person authorised to sign company cheques, he took it to the Cash Generator shop in London Road North.

Once Smith had paid the shop's fees he had £376 in cash, which he spent gambling on slot machines in the Showboat arcade opposite.

Smith had pleaded guilty to charges of theft by an employee and fraud by false representation at a previous hearing.

District judge David Cooper made Smith the subject of a 12-month community order with supervision and ordered a 12-month ban from all gambling establishments and betting shops. Smith was told also to pay £60 in costs and to pay the full amount of money back to Cash Generator.

James Hartley, for Smith, said his client had found his placement through the New Deal programme, which gave people the help and support they needed to seek work.

He added: “He is a man with a severe gambling addiction. He went into Cash Generator and then went across the road to the arcade and spent all the money.”

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