GAMBLING addict Cihan Eybey, who was caught after he scammed £4,500 from a bookie, has already paid back most of the cash after winning bets.
The 42-year-old had won £4,556.25 from Simmonds Don in Stubbington Green by changing the kick-off time of German football matches on the betting slip from 2.30pm to 6pm.
When the Eybey placed the bets at 4.30pm on March 5 he already knew the results.
At his sentencing for fraud it was revealed that Eybey had already repaid more than £3,000 to the bookies through winnings from gambling in other shops.
A probation report said Eybey had decided to stop gambling after becoming ‘ashamed and embarrassed’ when he saw the report in The News of his earlier court appearance for the offence.
Eybey, who came to the UK 12 years ago from Turkey, told Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court that he wants to put his gambling ways behind him.
Chairman of the bench, Peter Mellor asked Eybey through his translator: ‘Is he serious about giving up gambling?
‘I can see a wry smile on his face as you translate.’
Eybey replied: ‘I want to be honest with you, it’s very difficult but I do wish to quit.’
Mr Mellor added: ‘It’s not illegal to gamble, but it is illegal to gamble in the way you did that Saturday afternoon.
‘We are delighted he has already chosen to repay over £3,000 back to the bookmaker, but we also need to make an order that he repays the remaining £1,225.’
At the time of the offence Eybey, of Tangier Road in Copnor Road, Portsmouth, worked at a kebab shop in Stubbington close to Simmonds Don, enabling him to make regular visits to the bookies.
He has since left that job and is now working at a kebab shop in Portsmouth.
The father-of-one had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity at Fareham Magistrates’ Court on July 1.
Eybey was given 160 hours of unpaid work as part of a 12-month community order and told to pay £85 costs.
As Mr Mellor delivered the verdict, he said: ‘I see you whistle with surprise, but this is a serious offence and needs punishing.
‘I strongly recommend that you behave from now on.’