Gambler stole from his bosses

A GAMBLER who stole �1,500 from his employers to pay off his overwhelming debts didn't put his money on being caught by the police.

A GAMBLER who stole �1,500 from his employers to pay off his overwhelming debts didn't put his money on being caught by the police.

Roy Unwin, of Upland Road, Ipswich, is today counting the cost of his actions after he took the cash and covered it up by telling officers he had been robbed.

The 61-year-old, who admitted he had a gambling problem, was spared jail, but was told he had “punished” his family because of his deception.

Sentencing Unwin at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, District Judge David Cooper said: “You have to show your wife you can be trusted.


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“Everyone makes mistakes in life even at the age of 61. You let your gambling get completely out of control.”

Unwin admitted wasting police time and stealing from Brook Street Foods, where he worked as a delivery driver, on three dates.

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He then lied to police that he had been robbed, sparking a 42-day investigation involving a helicopter, 17 officers, eight police vehicles, a dog unit, and CID and Scenes of Crime units.

At a previous hearing, magistrates in Ipswich heard how Unwin told police he had been robbed by a man with a knife after he stopped in a lay-by on the B1113 at Stowmarket on November 4.

But in fact he had taken the �719.16 he had collected from customers that day for himself, and invented the robbery to cover his tracks.

When the police began investigating the case, it was discovered money in Unwin's possession had gone missing on several occasions.

On August 18, he told his employer �568.24 of payment had been stolen from him, and the company decided not to pursue the matter with police. He paid �43 back.

Then, on October 21, he explained a missing �200.04 by telling his employer he must have mistakenly dropped the money or left it at the customer's house, though he later repaid this in instalments.

After being interviewed by police on December 7, Unwin admitted he had stolen the money on all three occasions.

Unwin was given a 16-week prison sentence which is suspended for one year, during which he must carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.

He must also pay any outstanding money back to Brook Street Foods.

Do you have a gambling problem? Have you found it difficult to find help? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email starnews@eveningstar.co.uk.

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