Gambling Addict Steals Thousands From Disabled Woman to Fund Habit

  • Karl Robson stole £31,957 from partner’s disabled family member
  • Brain-damaged female was the victim of theft
  • Addict has full support of the family and will not serve time in jail
Thief stealing money from a wallet.
Karl Robson avoids jail after stealing £31,957 from a disabled woman to fund his online gambling habit. [Image: Shutterstock]

Gambling addict avoids jail

Englishman Karl Robson has avoided a jail sentence despite stealing tens of thousands from a disabled member of his partner’s family to pay for his habit.

The 28-year-old gambling addict stole money that was supposed to be used for 24-hour care of a brain-damaged woman. He used the money to fund online gambling sessions from his home in Middlesbrough..

Brain-damaged victim

The victim in the case is a family member of Robson’s partner. The woman is mentally and physically disabled due to underdevelopment of the brain. Since infancy, the woman’s brain never fully developed, and she has been unable to speak or walk.

The woman is mentally and physically disabled due to underdevelopment of the brain

Robson decided to steal a total of £31,957 ($39,025) from the victim. The money was part of savings from gifts as well as benefits for her future care. The victim’s mother discovered the theft, noticing that only 36p (43 cents) was remaining in the bank account.

During her investigation, the victim’s mother found that several transactions had taken place with cash placed in an account held by Robson. He then confessed a short time later and turned himself into police.

Robson had access to the bank information of the victim provided by the family, for a particular reason. He was asked to get rid of the details but did not and stole money from the account instead.

Deeper in debt

Robson decided to use a banking app and withdraw the money in an effort to sort out his financial issues. He was trying to win back the gambling losses with the funds. Judge James Brown called this a ‘misguided attempt’ by the gambler.

Judge Brown said: “It’s a pretty spectacular breach of trust. It’s hard to think of a more vulnerable victim. You didn’t win the money back and you just got yourself deeper and deeper into trouble.”

The mother of the victim was shocked to find the money had been stolen. She has since forgiven Robson as he tried to pay back the stolen funds.

The victim’s mother has stated that Robson has shown remorse

The victim’s mother has stated that Robson has shown remorse and was not acting like himself due to the addiction to gambling. She still considers him as a member of her family and wants things to return to normal without Robson losing employment or sentenced to time in prison.

Robson admitted to stealing the funds between July and September 2018. During the time of the theft, Robson continued to help the family, such as providing care for the disabled woman.

As a shift worker, Robson earned £1,400 ($1,709) a month. He has since repaid £1,200 ($1,465) and hopes to be able to pay back the entire amount in a five to six-year time frame. His partner is now taking care of their finances.

Judge’s decision

In the judge’s ruling, he questioned jail time as it would remove the ability for Robson to pay back the funds. He also considered the admission by Robson of the theft along with the support of the family in his decision to not imprison him.

As part of his punishment, Robson has a curfew of 11pm to 5am for three months and must undergo 20 days of rehabilitation. The remaining balance of £28,000 ($34,191) in compensation must also be paid.

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