Sudbury gambling addict defrauded girlfriend and Hadleigh work colleagues while chasing losses

Cabbie assaulted after being given tip

Cabbie assaulted after being given tip - Credit: PA

A young gambling addict has ended up in court after using his workmates’ and girlfriend’s credit cards to chase his betting losses.

Bradley Hazell, of Ash Street, Boxford, near Sudbury, racked up bills on their accounts totalling around £3,000.

Hazell pleaded guilty before Ipswich magistrates to fraud by false representation on February 2 and March 1, relating to two colleagues at an ironworks in Hadleigh.

The 21-year-old also admitted a third charge of fraud by false representation on March 15 in relation to his then-partner.

Prosecutor Wayne Ablett said in February Hazell was employed at Jim Lawrence Ironworks in Hadleigh.

Subsequently two of his workmates became concerned their bank details had been compromised after noticing transactions and accounts that had not authorised.

An internal investigation began and police were subsequently called in.

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When interviewed about the offences Hazell initially denied them, but later the same day he resigned.

Police checked statements and online accounts. A number of the transactions involved online betting companies.

A passport had also been ordered in Hazell’s name.

Hazell went to the police station voluntarily to answer questions.

He then admitted taking his girlfriend’s card and using it without her consent.

Hazell also told police he had taken his workmate’s cards and used them.

Hazell racked up £1,517 on one of his colleagues’ cards, and £412 on another. He defrauded his girlfriend of £955.

All three had the money repaid by their banks.

The court heard he had a gambling habit and a number of debts, and was trying to win the money back.

Mr Ablett said: “He said temptation got the better of him. He was trying to make things better, but of course now made it a lot worse.

“He has abused the trust of his partner and work colleagues.”

Jo Paton, mitigating, said the offences were as a result of a gambling addiction. He has since sought help.

She added: “When you gamble it’s always pitted against you and you are not likely to win.”

Hazell was said not to have gambled since the offences were discovered.

Magistrates sentenced him to a 12-month community order and told him he must compensate the banks in full.

Hazell must also pay costs of £50.

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