Accountant stole to bet

Robert Lindley court snatch Wakefield Magistrates
Robert Lindley court snatch Wakefield Magistrates

A BREWERY accountant who stole more than £50,000 to fund his gambling habit has been jailed for 21 months.

Robert Lindley, 48, fiddled paying-in slips and pocketed cash on 40 occasions over a year while working for HB Clark’s brewery on Westgate.

Lindley carried on with his deception despite being caught and given a written warning by his bosses.

Leeds Crown Court heard how Lindley had worked for Clark’s for almost 20 years and was in charge of the firm’s accounts.

Prosecutor David Mattan said cash and cheques were received from customers and put into sealed bags.

Lindley was responsible for taking the bags to the bank. A discrepancy over £299 arose in July 2009 while he was away on holiday.

The financial director was contacted after a paying-in slip differed to a carbon copy on one of the bags handed to the bank. The amended slip was found to be in Lindley’s handwriting.

He admitted taking the cash after being confronted by his bosses and given a written warning.

But a similar discrepancy came to light when Lindley was on holiday a year later.

He was suspended then dismissed after initially claiming to have stolen around £7,000. But examination of the company accounts revealed 40 incidents where there had been a shortfall in cash.

The court heard the total amount Lindley admitted taking from his employers was £54,467.

Lindley, of Woodhead Road, Holmfirth, admitted five charges of theft and asked for 26 similar offences to be taken into consideration. He was of previous good character.

John Wishart, mitigating, handed the court a letter confirming Lindley’s gambling addiction.