A lettings negotiator who joined his firm straight from school five years ago has been sentenced after stealing money for his gambling habit.
Ben Cryer, 22, gambled away more than £13,135 on roulette machines after stealing from his bosses at Petty’s Estate Agents in east Lancashire. In one weekend he lost £2,500.
Cryer, who joined the firm as an apprentice five years ago, failed to process payments and took sums of between £50 and £300 in a period from February to August last year, Burnley Crown Court heard.
The firm had “high hopes” for Cryer, enrolling him on a Level 2 NVQ course in estate agency. The thefts came to light during disciplinary proceedings and Cryer had handed himself in to police.
Cryer admitted the thefts at an earlier magistrates court hearing.
At Burnley Crown Court, he was given six months in prison suspended for 18 months, with 18 months supervision and 160 hours of unpaid work.
He was ordered to repay all the money at £250 a month.
Judge Simon Newell told Cryer: “It’s not just the loss of that money, but you worked at Petty for five years. They obviously had high hopes for you and you clearly seemed to work well there. You badly let them down.”
The court heard Cryer is now attending Gamblers Anonymous and has been dismissed from Petty’s.