This story was published more than 4 years ago.
A gambling addict in the UK has been ordered to pay back the £2,000 he stole from his widowed mother-in-law in order to feed his gambling addiction, but somehow managed to avoid jail time in the case.
Ian Hanney stole the cash from his 72 year old mother-in-law after her husband passed away from cancer. He weaseled his way in by offering to manage her finances. Additionally, he had pawned the victim's jewelry and kept the money. The defendant then starting using the money to gamble online.
He was given a lenient sentence of repaying the money stolen, and doing 150 hours of community service, in addition to 18 months probation. His defense attorney argued that the crime was a result of the defendant's mental illness. Speaking about the case lawyer Rhona Lynch said, "He and the complainer developed a very close friendship. He did transfer a number of thousands of pounds to her as she expected him to.There was a decline in his mental health. He was drinking and became addicted to online gambling."
Sheriff Seith Ireland chastized the defendant, saying: "You abused the trust of this lady by taking money from her. It is not an insignificant amount of money. I am making a compensation order. You must stay away from online gambling and excess alcohol."