20th of February 2012 Author: Ava Jackuard
A 71 year old woman pleads guilty to stealing £7,000 from her daughter in order to feed her addiction to bingo slots. Celeste Stewart, who lives in Kenya with her husband, regularly sent money to her mother for expenses and repair costs for two properties she owns in Iverness, a city in Scotland. This is where the trouble began. Stewart's mother, Margaret Davies, has now admitted to having a gambling addiction spending all the money on slot machines.
Davies gambled every penny sent by her daughter between August 1, 2009 and May 30, 2011. According to Depute fiscal David Bernard, Stewart's suspicions began when the company that installed a new bathroom in one of her properties went unpaid. On May 30th, she asked a friend to get the cash from her mother to pay for the work but after several calls to her home the attempts were unsuccessful.
"On this date the complainer accused her mother of stealing the money," said Bernard.
"The accused reacted angrily to this and said the money would be in her account within a week. The matter was raised with the police and inquiries carried out, and the accused attended on a voluntary basis at Burnet Road Police Station.'
"During interview she confirmed that she had control of her daughter's finances and made a full confession that she had used the money to gamble on the slot machines at the bingo in Inverness."
In a statement to the court, Davies' council said, "This is a truly tragic case. My client knows she has let not only her family and society, but herself down. She is, frankly, mortified to be in court. She accepts entirely that it is her own fault, that she lost money on these gambling machines, and a breach of trust on top of that.'
"She gave up work to look after her mother who was in poor health and died shortly thereafter. Her children had left home and it is in that vacuum, for want of a better word, that she has fallen into this gambling addiction."
Davies' sentence was deferred six months for good behavior and to allow her a bit of time to make restitution. There was a home curfew set from 6pm to 6am.
"Were it not for your age, and the fact that you are totally contrite and have already made steps to repay part of this money which you filched from your daughter in a breach of family trust, I would not be persuaded to defer sentence' said Sheriff Abercrombie.
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