Online gambler stole £17k from grandad
A BOSTON woman stole £17,000 from her disabled grandad to feed her online shopping and gambling addictions.
Rebecca Louth, 22, of Chapel Street used her 74-year-old granddad’s debit card to clock up the amount over a four year period.
Louth was invited to live with her granddad Alec Louth five years ago after having a turbulent relationship with her mother.
Mr Louth initially discovered there was money missing from his account when he had to take out a bank loan to pay for a new car.
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Paul Woods, prosecuting at Boston Magistrates Court, said: “Mr Louth said he was forced to take out a loan and was surprised there were no funds for it in his account.
“His daughter, the defendant’s mother, went through his bank statements with him and they discovered accounts had been set up on various sites including Amazon and Facebook.
“He was undecided about getting the police involved as he didn’t want his granddaughter in trouble.”
In a statement to the police Mr Louth admitted he was a generous person and liked to spoil his granddaughter.
He said he would often give her his credit card but only to pay for particular items or to draw out certain amounts of cash for herself.
One of Mr Louth’s bank statements showed that his granddaughter had made 21 transactions in two days and it also showed that when he’d allowed her to get cash out, double transactions had been made.
Phillipa Chatterton, defending, said Louth had a gambling and a shopping addiction and had carried out the crime as a cry for help from her mother.
She said: “She would feel isolated, low and depressed and at home she would play online bingo and download games as a social interaction.
“She would also buy items she didn’t need online and then sell them to pay bills.
“She said at the time she felt her granddad was financially comfortable and wouldn’t notice but then it became out of control.
“She knew her mother would realise what was going on so it was a cry for help but as a result of what’s happened her mother now doesn’t speak to her.
“She didn’t believe it would go on for so long and said she needed to be caught to stop.
“She helps her grandad with jobs around the house and is trying her best to show how sorry she is but she will never be in a financial position to pay the money back.”
Louth pleaded guilty at Boston Magistrates Court and will appear at Lincoln Crown Court for sentencing at a later date.