Brit Steals from Employer to Play the Lottery, Avoids Jail

A Brit who dipped his hands into his employer’s pocket to gamble over a three-week period has had his day in court. He cost the business £11,000 (US$14,402) but won’t have to go to jail to pay for his crimes.

The Stew & Oyster restaurant in Malton, UK. A former manager there won’t go to jail after stealing more than $14,000 from the company two years ago. (Image: York Mix)
The Stew & Oyster restaurant in Malton, UK. A former manager there won’t go to jail after stealing more than $14,000 from the company two years ago. (Image: York Mix)

The Christmas season is always one of the most stressful, especially for those who have children. Parents want to make sure they can properly provide for their families and give them a memorable experience.

However, if you’re in financial trouble, things can quickly spiral out of control if you don’t keep a level head. A former manager of a restaurant in the UK fell into that trap, according to The Scarborough News. He stole from his employer to cover his bills and gambling habit, but without success. Now having appeared before a judge for his crimes, the 28-year-old finally got a little bit of good luck on his side.

Lack of Lottery Luck Leads to Losses

Daniel Cuthbert wanted a way out of the financial binds that tied him. He saw a possible opportunity while working as a branch manager for a Stew & Oyster restaurant in Malton, about an hour to the east of Leeds, UK.

Cuthbert, a father of two, had bills piling up at home, a situation exacerbated by his penchant for the lottery. As a result, he used his position at the restaurant to launch a scheme in December 2019. Since he was in charge of making bank deposits, he could take some money, gamble, win, and replace what he took.

Things didn’t work out the way he planned. Over the course of three weeks, through January 13, 2020, he stole a combined £11,926 (US$15,612). He never could recuperate the thefts.

Stew & Oyster bosses asked him about discrepancies in the books that January. He promised to look into it, falsely stating that the restaurant’s “bank book had gone missing.” He ignored several attempts by the company to find out what happened and was subsequently fired.

The restaurant then contacted police, who picked up Cuthbert. He had been expecting their visit and admitted to his transgressions. Cuthbert told them that he was only trying to “pay off his debts” while seeking a comfortable life for himself and his family.

Date With a Judge

Last Friday, after two long years of sweating over what might happen, Cuthbert had his day in court. It may have been the luckiest day he had experienced in a very long time.

Judge Simon Hickey was sympathetic toward the situation of the father and breadwinner. He pointed out the errors that Cuthbert had made, but acknowledged that he appeared to be genuinely remorseful. This, and his ready admission of guilt, played a role in the sentence Cuthbert received.

Hickey handed down a one-year sentence. However, he suspended all of it for 18 months, provided Cuthbert successfully carries out 150 hours of community service.

As for the money Stew & Oyster lost, the company isn’t likely to see it again. The judge reportedly didn’t order restitution and only fined Cuthbert £1 (US$1.31). Having no assets, no cash savings, and providing 150 hours of work for free wouldn’t go very far in trying to pay back the stolen funds.

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