Jail for delivery driver who stole £35,000 from Leeds cigarette vending machine company

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A delivery driver who stole £35,000 from the cigarette vending machine company where he worked has been jailed for eight months.

A court heard Tony Lewis stole the cash in order to fund his addiction to gambling on slot machines.

Lewis, 51, began the offending soon after being employed by Morley-based Sinclair Collis Ltd.

Leeds Crown Court heard the firm service cigarette machines at pubs and retail premises across the country.

Lewis was employed as a customer service operator with responsibility for driving a company vans to premises to service and restock machines and collect cash from them.

Louise Pryke, porsecuting, said Lewis began taking money which he had collected in order to spend on gambling

Ms Pryke said Lewis would cover up the theft by making up the shortfall from the following week’s taking before banking the cash.

He eventually admitted to his employer what he had done after the value of the theft rise above £32,000 and he was no longer able to conceal what he had had been doing.

He initially blamed a banking error before admitted to stealing the cash.

Lewis, of Springfield Road, Rotherham, pleaded guilty to theft.

Robert Sandford, mitigating, said Lewis had been frank with his employer and admitted the offence at an early stage.

Mr Sandford said Lewis had taken steps to tackle his gambling addiction.

Judge Guy Kearl, QC, said: “You were in a high degree of trust since you were asked to look after considerable sums of money.

“This was week on week offending and you manipulated the banking system.”

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