Page last updated at 18:37 GMT, Friday, 20 March 2009

Woman stole 150,000 for gambling

A woman has been jailed for two and a half years for stealing 150,000 from her employers to feed her online gambling habit.

Eileen Evis, 61, from Colaton Raleigh, Devon, took the money from building firm TAG in Sidmouth where she worked as a 50-a-week book-keeper.

Exeter Crown Court was told she won 36,000 by gambling, but the 150,000 she took had disappeared.

Evis admitted six charges of fraud and two charges of dishonesty.

The court heard that the offences took place over 10 months from March 2007 after Evis was left in charge of the company when its owners moved to Canada.

But she switched their bank accounts to the internet and stole from two accounts to feed her online gambling.

'Innocent hobby'

She also took out a Barclaycard and a Marks & Spencer store card using their details and ran up debts on those of 11,000 and 1,480 respectively.

When the owners returned, one current account which had been 8,000 in credit, was 15,000 overdrawn.

When she was arrested, Evis said she "did not realise it was that much".

Nigel Wraith, defending, said she gambled on the internet with Ladbrokes and other companies and made a profit with Ladbrokes.

She had lost the rest of the money.

He said: "She started gambling online when a friend of hers showed her to do it.

"It started off as an innocent hobby to help her escape her depression.

"It was inevitable she would be discovered. It started spiralling out of control."

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