Gambler jailed for robbery at bookies

A GAMBLER injured an Ipswich betting shop worker as he stole back the £2,000 he had fed into a gaming machine, a court heard.

A GAMBLER injured an Ipswich betting shop worker as he stole back the £2,000 he had fed into a gaming machine, a court heard.

John Maw robbed deputy manager Edwina Ameur of a cash box when she opened the machine after he had reported it as faulty.

Ipswich Crown Court heard that as he grabbed the box he pushed it under her chin causing her to fall. He then pushed her again to make sure she fell to the floor.

She told police: “I have never witnessed such an act of violence in my ten years of bookmaking.”

Maw ran from the Ladbrokes bookmakers in Carr Street, Ipswich leaving Mrs Ameur with a reddened chin and a bruised arm.

Peter Gair, prosecuting, said 20-year-old Maw had been playing the gaming machine for some time on September 20. Computer records showed he was gambling £100 at a time.

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At about 5.20pm, Maw, of Hervey Street, Ipswich, approached Mrs Ameur at the counter and complained that the machine had not registered £50 he had fed into it.

Mr Gair said that as Mrs Ameur unlocked the machine her glasses fell to the floor.

While another customer helped pick them up Maw made his move and snatched the cash box containing £2,000.

The court heard that Ladbrokes staff immediately sent a CCTV still to the police and two days later when Maw was arrested for possessing a knife he was identified as the robber.

Maw pleaded guilty to robbery. The court heard that in a previous hearing, he had also admitted being in possession of the knife, for which he was sentenced to eight weeks in a young offenders' institute.

Martin Goudie, mitigating, said Maw had come to Ipswich to escape the “unsavoury circle” of friends with whom he had associated in London.

He said Maw had borrowed money to start a new life here but his gambling habit had all but emptied his funds.

Maw had just £735 left when he was arrested.

Judge John Devaux said: “No weapon was used and you have no other serious offences of violence on your record.

“You gambled £2,000 and exhausted your funds for that day.

“Your victim was a vulnerable woman at work and you caused her minor injuries of reddening and bruising.”

Maw was jailed for two years and told to pay £735 compensation to Ladbrokes.

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