Man stole £1,000 from St Helier bookies in ‘a moment of madness’

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A 48-YEAR-OLD man who snatched £1,000 in cash from a bookmakers during ‘a moment of madness’ has been sentenced to 70 hours of community service and given a six-month probation order.

The Magistrate’s Court saw CCTV footage showing Emanuel Goncalves De Gouveia in a St Helier branch of William Hill at about 3.15pm on 28 June last year.

De Gouveia was in the shop to collect legitimate winnings, but as the cashier’s back was turned he reached behind the counter where she had momentarily left £1,000 in cash and took it.

He had denied larceny, despite the CCTV evidence, and changed his plea to guilty only shortly before a trial scheduled for last month.

Legal adviser Harrison Gollop, prosecuting, said staff realised within three or four minutes that the cash was missing and identified De Gouveia as the culprit. He still had the money on him when arrested and claimed he had won it.

Advocate Francesca Pinel, defending, asked for a probation order and community service instead of prison.

She said: ‘He does accept the seriousness of the offence. He did enter a guilty plea, not at the earliest opportunity but before the trial. It was out of character. It was an impulsive act. It was a moment of madness on his part.’

Assistant Magistrate Peter Harris told De Gouveia that he deserved little credit for his late guilty plea, particularly as the CCTV footage showed him committing the offence.

Mr Harris said: ‘I accept that you didn’t set out to steal the money and it was opportunistic to take it the way you did.

‘But to deny the reality of it was fooling nobody, and if this had gone to trial you would quite possibly have been sent to prison.

‘Be careful how you behave.’

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