Charlotte Graves, 31 from Clacton in Essex, was given a ten-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months and was ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement after admitting one count of fraud in breach of trust at Chelmsford Crown Court this week.
According to the local news, the mother of three and former gambling addict lost £14,000 of her ex-partner’s money on an online bingo website – Volcano Bingo – after using his bank card without his knowledge or consent.
John Waller, prosecuting, said:
“The total amount [the victim] says that was taken from his account without his permission was £14,750.48,” he said.
“The defendant was interviewed in July last year and essentially what she says was [the victim] had given her permission to use the bank card and he was fully aware of the transactions, although he had been intoxicated at the time so might not remember.
“Of course [the victim] has now confirmed none of those withdrawals were authorised and were without his permission.”
The court heard that Graves was drinking heavily at the time and was addicted to gambling. It also came out that Graves has a previous conviction for fraud when, aged 17, she used her grandmother’s bank card without her permission.
Cathryn Sutcliffe, mitigating, said:
She’s sought help from Gamblers Anonymous and happily, she’s not gambled for at least 18 months. She’s also abstained from alcohol for well over a year.”
“This is clearly something that was quite out of character and quite frankly it was clearly something borne from addiction.
“She is deeply remorseful for this offence, she’s embarrassed and ashamed to find herself in this position and she’s expressed a desire to apologise to [the victim].”
This is not the first time a gambling addict has stolen a considerable sum of money from someone close to fund their online bingo gambling addiction. In December last year, a 49-year old mother from Barnstaple in Devon was found guilty of fraud, having stolen £34,171.50 from her disabled mother's bank account, to fund a four-year online bingo playing spree.
Ben has been an massive bingo enthusiast and fan since playing at the seaside as a kid. Dedicated to bringing you the latest and best bingo news from the UK