Gambling addiction is one of the most devastating addictions in terms of inflicting financial hardship on the person with the addiction, their family, and, in some cases, innocent strangers. The pull of the gamble and the hope of a ‘big win’ often cause those affected to take risks and do things they know they should not.

This is exactly what happened to Angela Johnson, who worked as a manager in a care home in Cartmel. Johnson was in the grips of a crippling gambling addiction when she began stealing money from some of the care home residents. She had mounting debts and an addiction that she could not beat when she stole more than £11,000. She was hoping that her ‘big win’ would come and she would be able to repay the money she had taken. However, that did not happen and her crimes were discovered.

Theft from Residents

Johnson had previously worked twenty-one years for West Yorkshire Police but had taken voluntary redundancy so that she could take care of her father. She then began working for Mary Rush Care Homes; it was during a spot check of accounts by her employer Mrs Susan Bilsland that suspicions were raised.

Mrs Bilsland discovered that one resident had outstanding fees of around £11,000. When she asked Johnson about the fees, she was told that the resident’s daughter was planning to settle as soon as she had sold a property in London. Mrs Bilsland then sent an invoice to the daughter but quickly received an angry email in response saying that cheques for £9,200 had already been paid directly to the manager and that payee details had been left blank as requested. It was then discovered that money had also been taken from another two residents.

Holiday

Mrs Bilsland sent Johnson an email about the discoveries shortly before Johnson took a week’s holiday. Johnson did not return to the care home after her holiday and the matter was passed to the police.

When she was arrested, she told police that she had large amounts of debt and that she spent all her income on an online gaming site to which she was addicted. When her addiction worsened, she began stealing money from residents at the care home. Her husband was unaware of her addiction and of the fact that she had been stealing money to fund it. She admitted that she felt shameful about her actions and that she had been hoping to win enough money to pay back what she had stolen.

Sentence

Johnson was given a twelve month suspended sentence and was ordered to complete two hundred hours of community service. The money she stole was recouped from the care home’s insurance policy but Johnson was ordered to pay the excess of £500. She also had to pay £100 as a victim surcharge.

Consequences of Addiction

Angela Johnson may not have been sentenced to time in prison but she now has a criminal record and must live with the guilt of her actions. She will find it hard to gain employment going forward because of her crimes, and this will affect her finances.

If you believe that you are suffering from a gambling addiction, it is important to get help as soon as possible. Many people that develop addictions to gambling often believe that they do not have a problem. They think they can stop whenever they want but fool themselves into believing that they do not want to stop.

Gambling addiction can quickly spiral out of control when finances run dry, and it can affect an entire family. Thankfully, there is help for this type of addiction and the staff at Addiction Helper are experts at providing this help. If you or a loved one is suffering from any type of addiction, contact our advisors today and they will provide the information and support you need to get better.

Source: The Westmorland Gazette

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