altLucienne Mainey, of Duxford in Cambridgeshire has been sentenced to 16 months after stealing over £76,000 to fund an online bingo addiction. Mainey stole the funds from the company she worked for and was sentenced to 16 months in prison as a result of her crimes. Ipswich Crown Court was told that Mainey developed an addiction to gambling; online bingo in particular, after the collapse of her marriage.

Mainey was considered a trusted member of the team at APD Ltd a company that makes electrical control panels. The 41 year old was working as an accounts administrator for the company and had been known to the owners of the business for 20 years, much of that time spent as a trusted employee. Michael Crimp, prosecuting, explained that Mainey had already been given a chance by the company after being caught stealing £800 in January 2011. On being discovered, Mainey was said to apologise and the company gave her another chance. However, eight weeks on Mainey was once again under fire as she had been found playing online bingo at work, which earned her a warning. In October 2011, she was questioned further about a missing £3,000 payment that was supposed to go out to a supplier but which she admitted she had paid into her own account. A full review of the company’s accounts was undertaken which revealed Mainey had stolen over £76,081 from the company, which the prosecution asserted was actually much closer to £87,000 as the company was obliged to repay VAT.

Lucienne Mainey’s defence, Mr. Ian James asserted that the accused woman was accepting of the fact she had betrayed the trust placed in her by her employers and was genuinely remorseful for the damage she had caused. He further explained that Mainey had become addicted to gambling, most prominently online bingo after the breakdown of her marriage in 2007. Her husband left her for a close friend and she turned to online bingo for comfort.

Judge Peter Fenn sentenced Mainey to 16 months imprisonment, declaring that her sentencing should stand as an example of how dangerous addiction to online gambling can be and the dangers of succumbing to the temptation of stealing and that Mainey had committed a gross breach of trust. With 16 months imprisonment to contend with, perhaps Mainey will have time to think about her situation and get the help she needs to combat her addiction.

Online bingo is a popular past time but like all forms of gambling should be enjoyed in moderation. There are a number of organisations including Gamcare which exist to provide support if you feel your habit may be out of control.