A fifty-eight year old bingo playing Leigh resident has pleaded guilty to five different offences of both theft and fraud in relation to her elderly neighbour. Barbara Taylor admitted to stealing thousands of pounds from her neighbour Elizabeth Bailey, claiming she was addicted to bingo.
The thefts that took place totalled £20,300 and Liverpool Crown Court was told that Taylor’s fraudulent offences involved using Mrs. Bailey’s credit card dishonestly. Taylor fraudulently used the victim’s credit card on both June 23rd 2010 to obtain goods from Go Outdoors Ltd and then again on September 15th 2010 in Sunseeker Sunbeds.
The prosecution explained that Taylor pleaded guilty to thefts between June 23rd 2009 and February 25th 2011 on the grounds that she had stolen £11,670 and the Crown Court accepted this. Pepper, prosecuting, went on to assert that Taylor had been informally supporting her neighbour by running errands on her behalf. This was carried out by the accused because Mrs. Bailey was elderly and in poor health and due to this; Taylor had been in control of her finances and used them both legitimately in some instances but illegally in others.
It was also asserted that Taylor withdrew money from Mrs. Bailey’s to fund her serious bingo gambling habit, frittering away her neighbour’s cash in bingo halls. The Judge agreed to remand Taylor on bail until January 5th to allow a pre-sentence report to be prepared but he didn’t hold back warning her that this kind of offence was usually punished by imprisonment.
Gambling addiction is a serious issue which seems to be appearing more and more often in our papers. Last month, we saw the story of Dawn Kyle who stole from her supposed friend in the same manner and it seems all too commonplace that these offences are taking place.
The gambling and bingo industry takes addiction very seriously and there are measures and agencies in place to support those who may feel their gambling is getting out of hand. Gamcare is one such agency which provides support, advice and information for anybody who feels they may be suffering from an addiction to online bingo or any form of gambling. Similarly, the Rank Group, who own all Mecca Bingo Halls, provide support and help for their customers to help anybody who feels they aren’t in control of their gambling. Mecca explain that they are committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for their customers and are always willing to offer further support if it becomes obvious someone is unable to control their habit.
For more information regarding these support agencies you can visit their respective websites at: Gamcare and Rank’s Stay In Control page. Further proceedings regarding Barbara Taylor should be reported in early 2012.