A problem gambler from East Yorkshire had been sent to prison for 10 months for committing fraud by manipulating racing results while working for the Press Association. The judge who announced the imprisonment sentence found the deception “frankly staggering”.
The culprit – Jack Bentham from Market Weighton near Beverley – joined the Press Association, which is now known as PA Media, three years ago. Soon after he started working there in 2018, a bookmaker raised suspicions about some bets places in the local area.
As Hull Crown Court learned from a hearing, the criminal offence of the gambling addict started on the first day he was left unsupervised at the Howden offices of PA Media, situated in East Yorkshire. The 24-year-old Mr Bentham would support his favourites and, in case they did not win the races, he would alter data so that they are displayed as the winner.
He was not the only one who benefitted from the manipulation of racing results and enriched himself. The changes he made to the data meant that other punters received payment based on incorrect winners, while the ones who picked the actual winner to bet on lost their money on the bets.
Gambling Addict’s Offence Appeared at His First Unattended Day at Work
As Hull Crown Court was informed by prosecutor Cathrine Kioko-Gilligan, Mr Bentham, who has been a problem gambler, the alteration of the racing results brought him about £15,000 from the wagers. The loss to the bookmaker was approximately £10,000, although the 24-year-old reinvested some of the profit he made back into betting.
The attorney who represented Mr Bentham in court, Stephen Robinson, said that the defendant, who is a father of one and for the time being lives with his parents, had been willing to change his ways. As the lawyer told Hull Crown Court, he took the advantage of self-exclusion options for both brick-and-mortar betting outlets and online betting platforms.
The court also heard that Mr Bentham became involved in gambling at the age of 18, if not even younger, and his fascination with the services quickly led to gambling addiction. His legal representative also told the court that the young man was left with some scarring from an assault and had been trying to raise some money to fund plastic surgery.
The defendant had admitted the allegations of manipulating racing results and expressed his regret for his actions.
Currently, Bentham is working as a designer and is expecting a promotion at work, so he would have been in a position to pay compensation for his wrongdoings. However, the nature of his crime meant that he would face an immediate custodial sentence, considering that he committed a serious breach of trust in his previous job. As the court found, the level of fraud committed by the gambling addict over such a short period of time was staggering, especially considering the fact that the manipulation of racing results started on his first unattended day at work.
Daniel Williams has started his writing career as a freelance author at a local paper media. After working there for a couple of years and writing on various topics, he found his interest for the gambling industry.