A gambling addict visited two betting shops almost right after telling magistrates that he had fixed his gambling problem.
Michael Schneiderman pleaded guilty to stealing a charity collection tin in Hove Library when he appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court.
“Skint for a long time” thanks for his gambling addiction, the habit has been draining the 80-year-old’s income from his state pension.
The man told the court that he had stopped gambling. However, just moments after leaving the court with a conditional discharge, Schneiderman was caught walking into and out of two betting shops in Brighton.
According to prosecutor Martina Sherlock, Schneiderman stole a charity tin in Hove Library earlier this year on 1st May.
Representing himself in court, the gambling addict said the police had informed him that the theft case would not be continued but he had destroyed the letter.
“I swear to you, I got that letter, but it does not make me innocent,” said Schneiderman.
He said he stole the charity tin, which contained £4.80, because he was desperate for food. He explained that he had been getting food out of rubbish bins near where he lived but that day the bins were locked up.
“I’m fully aware that it was wrong, I needed money to solve my problems. I was taking money out from my bank account to spend on gambling every week.”
He admitted he had a gambling addiction but had not been gambling since he received the letter from the court.
A conditional discharge was imposed on Schneiderman for 9 months. He was ordered to submit a £20 victim surcharge, as well as pay back the £4.80 he owed to Hove Library.
“Given your financial circumstances, we are not making an order for court costs,” said the magistrates.