More than £130,000 of donated cash gambled away by Leeds mum Stacey Worsley has been gifted to two charities that helped care for her cancer stricken son after betting companies handed the money to police.
Worsley, whose six-year-old son Toby Nye died in January, was handed a two year suspended prison sentence at Leeds Crown Court in March after the court heard she lost around £140,000 on online gambling sites between January 2017 and March last year.
West Yorkshire Police have now confirmed that £131,147.08 handed back to the force by betting companies has been gifted to Leeds Cares and Martin House Children's Hospice at Wetherby, two charities which helped care for Toby.
The force confirmed the move after a proceeds of crime application hearing at Leeds Crown Court ealier this week when Worsley was ordered to pay compensation of more than £54,000 to seven victims.
The £54,000 was held by police after they froze Worsley's bank acounts during the fraud investigation.
The proceeds of crime application hearing was told Worsley - benefitted to a total of £189,478.44 from her criminal conduct.
The YEP understands that figure includes money she won while gambling but later lost.
Detective Inspector Phil Jackson of West Yorkshire said: "This investigation has been incredibly sensitive since the outset.
"I am pleased we have secured the return of all the money involved, which will now be distributed to other good causes within the region.
“The money returned from the gambling companies has been gifted to Leeds Cares and Martin House, two charities which assisted in caring for Toby.
"The £131,147.08 will be split evenly to help make a difference to many other families.
“It was felt this was the most appropriate redistribution of the funds as the public donated in good faith and their money will now benefit the same charitable causes they intended it to go to.
“Key donors have also redirected their money to other identical good causes and charities.
“We hope the public can now be rest-assured their donations have been given to worthwhile causes and will help those who unfortunately find themselves in need of the support of charities such as Leeds Cares and Martin House.”
Worsley's sentencing hearing at Leeds Crown Court in March was told the 32-year-old’s deception eventually came to light after police were tipped off by the UK Gambling Commission.
Suspicions were raised in November 2017 when it became clear that she had access to large amounts of money and had suffered “significant losses” over a short amount of time.
Mr Adams, prosecuting, said the offending related to the mismanagement of money for the treatment of Worsley’s son.
Toby was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer, when he was aged four.
When NHS treatment failed, the family started an appeal via the JustGiving website to raise £200,000 for further treatment.
With the support of the public and Leeds United, the total was reached in January 2018 and the treatment went ahead.
Prosecutor Philip Adams said: “All of the money raised by the club went towards Toby’s treatment.”
Worsley was arrested and interviewed the same month but refused to comment.
An investigation found £59,145 had been paid directly into two of her bank accounts, in addition to £41,573 when the JustGiving account closed.
Further sums had been paid in from family and friends.
Worsley pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position on the basis that she took £100,000.
The Recorder of Leeds, Judge Guy Kearl, QC, said: “No one can fail to be moved by your story.
"These were difficult and testing times for your entire family. You had been suffering from depression since January 2018 from looking after Toby.”
She received a two-year jail sentence, suspended for two years.