Poundstretcher staff gamble profits away

Staff place a whole day's takings on 'red'

Updated: 
close up of roulette with ball...

Two Poundstretcher staff tried to stretch the store's takings last autumn - by putting the cash on red at a casino.

Sunderland sales manager Kieron Trott, 19, and 48-year-old shop floor worker Christopher Cameron were cashing up the day's takings on October 13 last year when they started speculating about how it would feel to bet that much money in one go.

But rather than being satisfied with a theoretical discussion, they got carried away - and promptly shot off to the nearest casino instead. Here, they placed the entire day's takings of £3,380 on a single turn of the roulette wheel.

As Jason Smith, defending Trott, told Sunderland Magistrates' Court: "It was an act of gross stupidity. They were saying 'let's go and do this, we might make some money out of it'. How that would work is beyond me."

Ian Cassidy, defending Cameron, said that his client had never even visited a casino before. He added that the situation was "almost like something out of a comedy".

In a comedy, though, the pair would probably have won their bet; in real life, they didn't. "They were seen transferring the cash into chips then going to the table saying 'red' and 'yes'. Lo and behold it came up on black," Cassidy said. The pair were in and out of the casino within minutes.

Trott and Cameron did, though, own up to what they'd done straight away, phoning their boss to explain.

"At 9pm, she received a call from Mr Trott stating that she needed to come back to the store because they had gambled away the takings," said Lee Poppett, prosecuting.

"She believed it was a form of joke, but Mr Trott said 'I'm not joking, call the police'. She could hear Mr Cameron in the background saying, 'He is being honest, you have to come back to the store'."

The pair pleaded guilty to theft, and Trott has now been ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work, while Cameron will have to do 66. They'll also pay £110 each in costs and surcharges.

And Trott is, at least, attempting to make amends. As his lawyer explained: "He is paying the money back at a rate of £50 a week because, miraculously, he's managed to find work at Nissan."

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