A Derbyshire thief with a gambling habit stole over £1,000 from his fiancée

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A thief with a gambling problem stole over £1,000 from his fiancée after she trusted him with her bank card and money.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on August 28 how David Watts, 61, of Padley Wood Road, Pilsley, near Chesterfield, had been caught stealing money but had apologised and agreed to pay it back but continued stealing more cash.

Lynn Bickley, prosecuting, said the defendant and the victim started seeing each other at a food bank and Watts visited her home in Clay Cross and proposed and she accepted but did not intend to get married.

Ms Bickley added Watts started going to the shop and bank for her but when the complainant checked her bank account she discovered he had been taking out more money than she had allowed.

Watts was challenged, according to Ms Bickley, and he admitted taking the money and said he would pay it back.

However, the complainant gave Watts her bank card to get £100, according to Ms Bickley, and after a couple of hours she became suspicious and her bank informed her £150 had been withdrawn.

Police found Watts in a pub and he only had £51.90 left out of the missing £150 because he had spent the rest on bandit machines.

The victim stated Watts’ offending has left her in a financial mess and left her very upset.

Watts told police he had taken the money without her consent because he has a gambling habit. He pleaded guilty to the theft from between April and July.

Theo Addae, defending, said: “Mr Watts is sincere when he says in his police interview that he feels ashamed and feels remorseful, and regrets his behaviour.”

Mr Addae added Watts went to the shop for the victim but was tempted to use the slots machines and he intended to pay the money back but he has been living on the breadline.

Watts was sentenced to 12 weeks of custody suspended for two years with a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and 150 hours of unpaid work. He must pay £1,140 in compensation, £85 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.

Watts was also given a three-year restraining order.