Worker gambled away £26,000 of Leeds firm’s cash

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An employee at a Leeds tool hire shop stole more than £26,000 and blew the cash on his gambling addiction, Leeds Crown Court heard.

Matthew Farnell, 23, stole a total of £26,601 while working at Brandon Tool Hire on Elland Road, Beeston, between November 10 and December 23 last year.

Prosecutor, James Gelsthorpe said Farnell inserted his own debit card into the company’s chip and pin machine and entered his supervisor’s code number to process 24 false refunds.

The court heard Farnell’s theft was not difficult to detect as the stolen cash was being paid into the same account the company paid Farnell’s wages into.

Farnell made full admissions to police when he was interviewed on January 24. Mr Gelsthorpe said: “He told officers he had proceeded to gamble it all away.”

Mitigating, Marcus White said: “He has made efforts to secure further work. He has been able to pay of his gambling debts and he hopes to pay off the debt to the company.” Farnell, of Dearne Street, Darton, Barnsley, admitted theft. He was handed a 16-month jail sentence, suspended for 12 months and ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work.