Little Leeds United fan Toby Nye's mum Stacey Worsley must pay £54,000 to victims of £100,000 fraud

A mum who gambled away money intended to fund treatment for her cancer-stricken son has been order to pay for than £54,000 in compensation to victims.

Tuesday, 6th August 2019, 1:12 pm
Stacey Worsley

Stacey Worsley must pay a total of £54,478.44 compensation to seven unnamed victims within 28-days or she will face a 12 month prison sentence.

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.

A proceeds of crime application hearing at Leeds Crown Court today (Aug 6) was told Worsley - who did not attend the hearing - benefitted to a total of £189,478.44 from her criminal conduct.

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The YEP understands that figure includes money she won while gambling but later lost.

Prosecutor, Philip Adams said the total amount available to be confiscated from Worsley was £54, 478.44.

Mr Adams said an agreement had been made between the Crown Prosecution Service and Worsley's defence team that her home in Leeds would not be included as an asset during confiscation proceedings.

Ordering Worsley to pay compensation of £54,478.44, Recorder Paul Greaney QC said: "I know this was a very difficult case.

"From what I know of the circumstances, the reaching of an agreement between the parties is highly appropriate and is to be applauded."

The court heard police already hold the cash to be confiscated, which was in bank accounts frozen during the investigation.

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. Mr 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.

The court heard online gambling companies have paid back £135,000 lost by Worsley and the money is sitting in a West Yorkshire Police bank account.

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.