Gambling addiction sparked £31,000 theft

Preston Crown Court

Preston Crown Court

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A BLACKPOOL woman who developed a gambling addiction, obtained over £31,000 from her mum’s bank account.

Julie Egan had wanted some money to buy basics for her home.

Thinking she could strike it lucky and win the money back, she turned to gambling, but lost.

The 48-year-old woman of Baines Avenue, Layton, was given 12 months’ prison, suspended for 18 months, with 18 months’ supervision.

She had admitted one charge of theft and another of obtaining a money transfer by deception.

Her mother Irene Larkin contacted police in June 2009 after discovering that her bank account had become overdrawn.

Abigail Hudson, prosecuting at Preston Crown Court, said there had previously been a significant amount in the mother’s bank account. There had been unauthorised transfers of cash and cashing of cheques.

The defendant was arrested in November of that year. She accepted having used the money to fund her gambling addiction.

She claimed her mother knew all about it.

On Christmas Eve 2009, Egan left her mother a lengthy letter in a bedroom. Her mother died in June last year.

Chris Hudson, defending, said they were mean offences. Egan was a mother of three.

He said: “She understands now what she has done is very wrong. She has not gambled since.

“Financial problems were the reason for her borrowing money in the first place.

“She is so upset about what has happened, so disgusted, that it has brought her up short.”

Judge Philip Butler told Egan “You have escaped being sent to prison by the skin of your teeth.”