A manager of a Skipton bookies stole takings to fund his online gambling habit, a court heard.

Steven Marren, 27, stole £13,020 from William Hill Bookmakers in Swadford Street over two months between April 30 and June 16, Skipton Magistrates heard on Friday. Marren, who found himself ‘sucked in’ to gambling, would take the takings to the bank, get fed up waiting in the queue, and take the money home with him, the court was told.

He would then put the money into his own bank account and use it to visit on-line gambling sites, including Betfair.

Prosecuting, Hilary Reece said Marren, from North Dean Road, Keighley, was eventually caught out following an investigation by the company which had noticed discrepancies in the accounts.

Challenged by the company, he had already prepared his resignation notice even before the outcome of the investigation, she said.

When he was interviewed by police, he fully admitted what he had done, but added that a catalyst had been the lack of support he had received from the company, said Mrs Reece.

Marren, who admitted theft by employee, had had a number of jobs since leaving university, and had known it was a matter of time before he was found out, the court was told.

In mitigation, Maria Temkow said Marren had worked for the bookmakers for around four years, steadily working up to duty manager at Skipton.

She said Marren had told her everyone at William Hills gambled because they became ‘sucked into it’.

“He was working very long hours at Skipton, sometimes 60 hours a week for the minimum wage of around £16,000 and with no overtime. He was getting more and more depressed,” said Ms Temkow.

“There was very little support from the company and he was betting more and more.”

She said he knew he would get caught out, but was unable to stop.

“He became sucked into this life of gambling. He knows there is no excuse, but he was suffering from severe depression that he is now being treated for.

“All of the money went on the gambling, he wasn’t using it to buy expensive cars or anything like that.”

Magistrates told Marren it was a high amount of money and he had been in a position of trust at the company. They said their sentencing powers were not great enough and committed him to Bradford Crown Court for sentencing.