PORTSMOUTH Crown Court heard that before Paul Gaffney’s crime spree began he was a normal family man.
The 51-year-old had no previous convictions until his addiction to playing roulette machines in betting shops at £100 a go drove him to crime.
Gaffney’s barrister Paul Barton things started to go wrong three years ago.
He said: ‘These are wicked offences.’
And added: ‘The previous 49 years of his life had been crime-free and responsible.
‘He has been married 32 years and his wife is still with him. He has three children who he has provided for.
‘He has worked all his life and has never been on benefits.’
But Mr Barton said gambling took its grip.
He said: ‘It is the defence case that he became addicted to these machines. No-one forced him to but they make it very welcoming for people like the defendant with sandwiches and drinks to keep them playing longer.
‘But he has no-one else to blame but himself.’