Corby gambling addict who stole £105,000 jailed

A Corby man stole more than £100,000 from his unsuspecting girlfriend before losing it all on online slot machines.

Thursday, 24th October 2019, 6:00 am

John Malcolm, 27, made a total of 90 transfers from three accounts after setting up his fingerprint on her mobile banking app.

It left the mum emotionally distressed and having to be financially supported by her family. She was even unable to buy her son a Christmas present.

On Tuesday (October 22) Northampton Crown Court heard the victim - who was with Malcolm for two-and-a-half years - had received a sizeable inheritance.

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But at the end of November last year she discovered money had been moved from her current account, ISA and savings account to her boyfriend's account.

In total 90 transfers were made totalling just more than £105,000. The majority of transfers were either £1,000, £2,000 or £3,000 with one lump £20,000 transfer.

Prosecuting, Priya Bakshi said: "When the victim discovered the theft she confronted him.

"He apologised and offered to pay back just £1,000."

Malcolm, of West Glebe Road, said he had a gambling problem and had gained access to her account by using an app on her phone which he had set up using his fingerprint.

The court heard he had been gambling on slot machines online since he was a teenager and had won £30,000 just before he started stealing.

But he quickly lost it and his gambling "spiralled out of control".

His criminal actions left his partner angry and shocked. In a victim impact statement read out in court she said she felt she would have been homeless and jobless had it not been for her family, and that she couldn't buy a Christmas present for her son.

Miss Bakshi added: "He had taken everything."

Mitigating, Paul Webb said Malcolm was extremely remorseful and that he intended to pay back every penny.

He said that he was depressed, that he had since downloaded an app to block gambling sites and that he had even taken to hypnotherapy to try and address his problem.

He said: "He very foolishly chose to access his partner's bank account to borrow the money, win it back and put it back where nobody would be any the wiser.

"As is quite often the case he continued to lose, and continued to lose, continuing the need to top up his losses."

Judge Rupert Mayo said it was a "gross abuse of trust" that could only warrant a spell in prison.

He said: "There is no doubt that if you had asked for that money to gamble she would have said no. So you stole it."

Malcolm was jailed for 26 months as a member of his family wept in the public gallery. He will spend half in custody and the remainder on licence.

Confiscation proceedings to recoup the money he stole will begin at a later date.

No custody image of Malcolm was available from Northamptonshire Police as he was summonsed by post.