Taking things a step too far
A gambling addict who stole over £10,000 ($12,100) from his former employer has been sentenced. He’s now found a new job, working in a casino.
Daniel Harrington, who worked as a chef-manager at Dine Contract Catering for three years, was found guilty on one count of theft after he admitted stealing £10,787 ($13,060), reports the Birmingham Mail.
While working at the eatery, Harrington’s duties included cashing up proceeds from the cafe and providing financial reports. Manchester Crown Court was told how money started going missing, and that the 24-year-old began telling lies to cover his tracks.
The company didn’t initially suspect Harrington, as he was considered a trusted employee that was “highly regarded” and “well spoken of.” However, when they became suspicious, they took the safe away to a locksmith (after Harrington first forgot the key and then provided the wrong key) and found only £120 ($145) inside.
Suspension from work, and a suspended sentence
When he was questioned as to where the money had disappeared, Harrington was unable to provide a solid reason. Police were eventually called in and Harrington was suspended. He was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months. He was also ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work and 15 rehabilitation activity days.
At his sentencing, Harrington said he could only apologize to his former employers for putting them through the ordeal, adding:
I spiraled a long way. I am not trying to justify anything I have done whatsoever. At the time I was under a great deal of stress.
He also mentioned he suffered from mental health problems.
A recipe for disaster?
Harrington reportedly has a new job as a chef and team leader at an unknown casino. According to Judge Suzanne Goddard QC, getting a job in a casino could be a “very dangerous environment” for him.
Yet, while Harrington noted he was aware that he suffered from a “horrible gambling addiction”, he said that working in a casino has not given him “any negative thoughts about it” and that “it has helped me a lot.”
While he didn’t divulge the help he may be receiving to tackle his habit, Harrington indicated he was limiting his gambling to £10 ($12) a week, with the intent of cutting it out altogether.
Similar gambling cases
Using an employer’s finances to gamble is nothing new. In May, it was reported that a 23-year-old Japanese man lost AU$140,000 (£79,000; $96,000) in a Melbourne casino after stealing it from his boss.
Elsewhere, a British man pleaded guilty after stealing £1m ($1.21m) from his employer to continue gambling. According to the report from last December, Steve Girling would play £100 ($121) a spin on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs), spinning every few seconds.
As a result of the impact FOBTs have had on people’s lives – with many losing up to £18,000 ($21,800) an hour – the UK government lowered the stake from £100 to £2.50 ($3) in April.