Lunch Lady Steals £100,000 to Fund Slots Habit

Lunch Lady Steals £100,000 to Fund Slots Habit

A lunch lady named Betty Davidson has been charged with stealing almost £100,000 from a canteen cash machine to fund her slot-machine play.

The 57-year-old Brit began stealing money from the Rossett School in 2007, when she was entrusted with managing a pre-payment machine used by students and staff.

As described in York Crown Court, the money is put into the machine and supposed to be transferred into a cashless credit system, used by Rossett School students to pay for meals.

Davidson was tasked with taking cash out of he machine and accounting for it, but she instead put it towards her slots bankroll.

As reported by The Sun, school leaders were oblivious to the crime because Davidson was considered “an institution” at Rossett. The reason why she was entrusted with the money is because she’d worked at the north Yorkshire school for over two decades.

Davidson’s theft was only discovered after eight years, in 2015, when the finance director looked at the accounts.

Prosecutor Chloe Farley told the York Crown Court: “Given how long the defendant was working at the school and the degree of trust placed on her there was no auditing of her.

“The defendant was asked for an account of the missing money and she gave various excuses.”

Farley added, “She accepted it happened on one occasion and she had taken the sum of £1,300.

“There was a disciplinary hearing and she wrote a letter of resignation – but maintained this had been a single error.”

The courtroom also heard that Davidson had a serious gambling problem, where she spend most of the lunch money on internet slots.

She initially only stole small amounts, but began taking more and more over the years, including £17,000 at one point.

Defense attorney Alasdair Campbell told the court that Davidson’s husband had no idea about his wife’s addiction.

Mr Campbell told the court: “She has sought counselling for the illness and feels terrible about the theft and letting the school down.”

In total, Davidson stole £98,114 during the course of her employment.

Judge Paul Batty, QC, sentenced Davidson to 16 months in jail after hearing the case.

“No-one questioned the amounts that you emptied from the machine because you were no doubt an institution at the school,” said Batty. “The reality is that in just over an eight-year period you stole just under £100,000.

“This was not a case where you needed the money – you were not stealing to feed and clothe your family with the bare necessities of life.

“You were stealing to fund a habit and addiction, a habit and addiction which has ultimately ruined you.”

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