A former serviceman who scammed a veterans’ charity out of nearly £50,000 to feed his gambling addiction has walked free from court.
Andrew Gallie made dozens of payments to himself while working at the Not Forgotten Association, which supports wounded military personnel and disabled veterans.
The 38-year-old, who served in the Royal Navy between 1998 and 2011, used the £46,000 to fund his gambling addiction.
He was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, at Southwark Crown Court on Monday after previously pleading guilty to fraud by abuse of position.
He was also ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and engage with a programme for gambling addicts.
The judge, Recorder Edward Connell, said: ‘You said this had been your dream job, because you had previously been in the Navy, but say that you had been tempted when dealing with petty cash.’
Addressing Gallie, the judge said he was giving him ‘a chance’ because he had ‘realised there is problem, a long-standing problem, that you have had since you were a youth’.
Gallie was given a two-year conditional discharge in October 2016 after pleading guilty to a similar offence in which he defrauded a care home where he worked out of around £738. He was given a two-year conditional discharge on the breach of conditional discharge.
Mr Connell further said the 2016 conviction should have been ‘a warning shot across your bows that your gambling problem had got out of hand and you needed to get help’.
He added an aggravating factor of Gallie’s offending was that as an ex-serviceman, he knew the importance of the work done by the Not Forgotten Association.
Gallie, who represented himself at court, told the judge that at the time of the first offence he was not able to deal with his addiction.
‘I still had the gambling bug, I have had it all my life,’ he said.
Speaking of his addiction, he added: ‘I just want it out there. I want rid of it.’
Breaking down in tears, Gallie, said of his teenage daughter: ‘I have just let her down massively. As well as the charity, I have massively let her down.’
Gallie, from Gillingham in Kent, left the navy to spend time with his wife and three children, but the marriage broke down because of his gambling problem.
He started at the Not Forgotten Association as a fundraiser in 2016, but began taking money when he was trusted with the petty cash.
Gallie was employed as the charity’s office co-ordinator and carried out finance and administration work for the charity’s events department.
He made around 59 payments to himself between the end of last year and June this year, when he should have been paying invoices.
His fraud came to light when the Union Jack Club queried one of the payments it should have received from the association.
The Not Forgotten Association provides entertainment, leisure and recreation for serving, wounded or sick service personnel and veterans with disabilities.
It has had Royal Patronage since 1921, with the duties currently carried out by the Princess Royal.