A GAMBLING addict security guard who stole pre-signed cheques from his workplace was snared after he paid £15,000 of the firm’s money into his own bank account.
Dad-of-three Nicholas Maplesden, 37, turned to crime after losing his entire month’s wages of about £1,100 in one night at work on a betting website.
He then stole three cheques that had been pre-signed which he found in a drawer at Quindell in Fareham, later using one of them to pay himself £15,657.
But Portsmouth Crown court heard he lost the lot within days after gambling the stolen cash.
Maplesden admitted two counts of theft.
The court heard married Maplesden, who was employed by another firm to work at Quindell, took the three pre-signed cheques from a drawer between June last year and April 13. He was caught after a cheque was cashed and enquiries revealed the money had been paid into his bank account.
Maplesden was arrested on suspicion of theft at his home.
Police searched the house and his car where they found about £1,500 in £50 notes.
When Maplesden was asked about the payment into his bank account he told police he thought it was a banking error.
Maplesden, of Dryden Avenue, Paulsgrove, Portsmouth, was sentenced to 18 months in jail suspended for two years and put under supervision.
He was ordered to pay £100 to a fund for crime victims and told to take part in a Thinking Skills Programme.
The £1,500 seized by police is to be given back to Quindell, a digital technology and outsourcing firm.
Addressing Maplesden, Recorder Malcolm Gibney, sentencing, said: ‘Acting, I accept, on something of an impulse, you took the opportunity that was there to take the cheques and use them.
‘I read and accept from the pre-sentence report that in your naivety you thought if you cashed one of those cheques, and used some of the money to gamble, you might win back those losses and at an appropriate juncture return the money to Quindell – a vain hope and one that’s frequently expressed by inveterate gamblers.’
Recorder Gibney said the reality is ‘rather different,’ adding: ‘You managed to gamble away the whole lot and as a result you find yourself before the courts.’