Online Bingo Addict Robbed a Family Member

The UK online bingo player Karen Moore stole and spent almost GBP120,000 of her 84-year-old uncle's savings to feed her gambling addiction. Yet the uncle had been reluctant to charge her and died three months before the case came to court.

Moore's lawyers said in the hearing at the Ayreshire Sheriff's Court that she had made efforts to adjust her uncle's losses by a personal repayment of GBP 17,226, and she had put all her winnings, which amounted to GBP 52,250, back into her uncle's account. However, some GBP 50,000 remained outstanding.

When Moore's uncle Franciso Barerra entered a care home in 2010, she was given access to his substantial bank account, and in just over a year she had gambled away GBP 119,678 of the balance blowing away GBP10,400 in a single night of bingo action.

The court has also heard that at one point Moore's compulsive gambling left Barerra GBP 10,000 in debt to his nursing home. On the other hand, as a carer herself, the accused has been entrusted with clients' monies and had no previous convictions.

To her credit, Moore surrendered herself to the local police and admitted her wrongdoing. A mitigating factor was that, according to her lawyers, the beneficiaries of Barerra's did not require the outstanding GBP50,000 to be claimed as part of the estate.

She will appear at court again in May as sheriff Desmond Leslie deferred sentence until he had the opportunity to inspect the will.

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