altA father from Coventry tried to rob his local Ladbrokes betting shop after getting himself caught up in a spiral of gambling debts. 34-year-old Ruhul Alom originally stole his own wife’s jewellery in order to pay off a £400 debt, but spent all the money he received from the pawn shop on further gambling after trying to win enough money to repay his debt and retrieve the pawned jewellery. In a fit of desperation, Mr. Alom then tried to rob the betting shop where he had blown the £1,000 on horse-racing and dog-racing bets. The Ladbrokes bookmakers in Hertford Street, Coventry is owned by the parent company of Ladbrokes Bingo, and it was here that Mr. Alom attempted to stage a heist. However, his plans were scuppered when a member of the public intervened.

Mr. Alom, who lives in the Foleshill area of Coventry, was given an eight-month prison sentence for his crime, which was suspended for eighteen months, and also order to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work after he pled guilty last week at a Coventry court to attempted robbery.

The prosecutor, Peter Grice, told the court that the defendant entered the Ladbrokes bookies at around 1.30pm on 21st May 2013. Adding that Mr. Alom was of previous good character, Mr. Grice told the jury that Alom had around £1,000 cash on his person and spent he afternoon placing a series of bets on the dogs and horses. After initially scoring a few wins, Mr. Alom was all out of luck by 6pm by which time he had lost all his money.

At around 6.20pm, the manageress of the bookmakers emerged from the secure area to empty the gaming machines of cash, and when she went to return to her office, she was grabbed by Mr. Alom who accompanied her into the room, telling her “I need my money back.” However, as he left the office, another punter who had seen what had occurred grabbed at his arm and, along with two other people, kept hold of Mr. Alom until the police arrived.

When interviewed, Mr. Alom said that it had been his son’s birthday and that he had a £400 debt to pay off. In order to clear his debt, he had taken his wife’s jewellery and exchanged it for £1,000 at a local pawnbroker which he then gambled in a bid to make extra funds to both clear the debt and buy back the jewellery. His defence, David Rees, told the court that the accused was a “working man and a family man” who is the “primer carer” for both his children, one of whom is disabled. He described the family as “struggling” and said that Mr. Alom’s actions were “desperate” and “impulsive.”