Gambling addict stole to play bandits

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A JAIL sentence hangs over a gambling addict who stole more than £2,300 while working as deputy manager of a hotel in a Peak District town.

Christian Read, who took cash from the Rutland Arms Hotel, Bakewell, over a four-month period, was addicted to fruit machines.

Read helped himself to sums ranging from £198 to £584 on six occasions between March 3 and July 16.

Probation officer Julia Gillott told magistrates at Chesterfield: “He says he was spending £100 to £200 regularly on slot machines in public houses, but he hasn’t gambled since his arrest and he has sought help from GamCare and Gamblers Anonymous.”

Read, aged 37, of Smedley Street, Matlock, admitted six charges of theft totalling £2,376.14.

Presiding magistrate Grant Stothart said the thefts were ‘a massive breach of trust’ and gave Read a three-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months.

He also ordered Read to do 150 hours unpaid work and pay £2376.14 compensation, plus £85 costs.

Read said: “I’m really sorry for what I’ve done and the people affected by it. I enjoyed my job and it’s a massive loss. I feel a bit stupid. I want to get help to get rid of my gambling addiction.”