Man stole £5,500 from his employers through fake cashback transactions

By Cara Sulieman

A MAN who embezzled more than £5,000 from the shop he was in left in charge of by faking cashback transactions has escaped jail.

Richard Humphries, 32, put £50 cashback through the company’s system on credit card payments then pocketed the cash to feed his gambling addiction.

He managed to steal £5,500 before being caught by an auditor who became suspicious of the assistant manager.

Today at Edinburgh Sheriff Court Humphries was sentenced to 160 hours community service after previously pleading guilty to the thefts between August 10, 2009 and May 12 this year.

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Chippy has been breaking gambling laws in front of police

By Christine Lavelle

AN Edinburgh chippy has been cheating gambling laws right under the noses of policemen who use the takeaway.

The Deep Sea, at the top of Leith Walk, still owns and operates a fruit machine, even though a new law was brought in last year, banning non-gambling premises from having them.

But – while the machine continued to be used on a regular basis – officers based around the corner at Gayfield Police Station have not spotted it.

They are even said to regularly pop in to the chippy to grab a bite to eat, but none have ever mentioned the machine. Continue reading

Imaginary family lands gambling addict in jail

By Michael MacLeod

A MAN who made up an entire family and claimed to be fighting for custody of his kids to con a workmate out of £30,000 has been jailed for 15 months.
Alexander Shields leaves court

Former Scottish Water employee Alexander Shields looked for pity from his “naïve” workmate Lynn McFarlane by pretending he was embroiled in a custody battle and asked her for cash.

She fell for his elaborate domestic nightmare – before it was revealed he had made up having a wife and kids simply to dupe her.

The 26 year-old Bathgate man then recklessly gambled the lot without making a penny back.

Today (Thurs) at Edinburgh Sheriff Court he blamed a gambling addiction and said he “always intended to give the money back.”

But Sheriff Neil MacKinnon branded him “dishonest, calculated and callous.”
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Thieving Shell manager thought gambling would clear debts

By Michael MacLeod

A GARAGE boss stole £20,000 from the station’s tills – then gambled it all away in a failed bid to pay off her debts.
Irene Pow
Irene Pow tried to take advantage by trying to fiddle with the books and kept three days of takings when one of the Shell garages she managed was closed for refurbishment.

But the 45 year-old’s boss noticed the discrepancies in the balance sheet and confronted her.

She admitted taking the cash and was suspended from the filling station near Edinburgh on the spot.

Yesterday (Tues) Pow pleaded guilty to embezzling the cash from Shell Garage in her home town of Newtongrange, Midlothian.

She will be sentenced next month.
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Hooded raider caged over armed robbery

By Paul Thornton

A MAN has been jailed for the knifed hold-up of a bookmaker shop after the vicious robbery was caught on CCTV.Sheriff court stock pic

Terrified Alexander French handed over hundreds of pounds of takings after hooded Stephen Rowan flashed a blade at him.

The 50-year-old thief chucked a bag at Mr French and demanded that he fill it with money during the heist at a Coral store in Edinburgh.

Rowan made good his escape but CCTV images were used to help track him down and police found he had been boasting of the attack to pals.

At Edinburgh Sheriff Court he was jailed for two years after admitting assault and robbery.

The court heard how Rowan had barged into the betting shop in Great Junction Street on March 26 this year.

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Hibernian player admits casino assault

By Paul Thornton03-phillippe-morais

HIBS star Filipe Morais has been fined after he admitted kicking a man on the head in an early-hours bust-up outside a casino in Edinburgh.

The 23-year-old winger has also been hit with a fine by the club and faces an uncertain future in Mixu Paatelainen’s team after it emerged he had been out the day before a match.

Morais – who has scored twice in 36 appearances for the Hibees – claims he “kicked out in annoyance” after being pestered by two men while on a night out in September.

He later handed himself into police for questioning over the incident.

The Portuguese ace, who is paid £1,300 per week, had denied the attack at a hearing in October but, at an accelerated diet at Edinburgh Sheriff Court he pleaded guilty to assault to injury.

Another man, Paul Whytock, maintains his innocence over the incident, in which two men claim they were attacked, and will face trial next year.

The court heard how Morais, who has been a member at Maxims Casino since October 2007, had arrived at 5.30am in the early hours of a Friday morning.

Robert Brown had been out with James McQueen and had been at the casino for several hours before the attack.

Maxims CasinoStaff members at the casino, in York Place, were having a cigarette break and witnessed Mr Brown arguing with another man at around 6am.

Mr Brown was knocked to the ground before Morais stuck the boot in, bursting his lip. St John’s Ambulance workers raced to his aid and treated a split lip and a burst nose.

Following the incident, Morais handed himself in to police in Edinburgh and was ordered to stay out of the casino.

His lawyer, George More, said Morais had been picked on by two men and lashed out in “frustration” after Mr Brown had been knocked to the deck.

Mr More said: “Young footballers are quite often harassed or picked on when they go out.

“He was being pestered by these two men who are referred to as complainers. These two men were pestering my client and the other man. An example of this was that one of the men was picking up my client’s chips.”

Morais’ co-accused, who was “hanging-on” to the Hibs player, decided to take Mr Brown outside to “diffuse” the situation, said Mr More.

Mr More said: “The complainer was knocked down and my client kicked out in frustration because the later part of his night was ruined. It was almost a gesture of annoyance.”

Gaffer Mixu Paatelainen has already fined Morais £800 after it came to light he had been out the day before a match, Mr More said.

And the father-of-one, who has not appeared for the club since the incident, is set to face a fine of at least two-weeks’ wages, according to Mr More.

He said: “His position at the club will be looked at after today. These matters are treated very seriously by the football club.”

Sheriff Frank Crowe said: “I’m sure you are provoked regularly at football matches but if you kick people in the head it would be taken very seriously there too.

“Lots of folk in Edinburgh and elsewhere look-up to people like you who are in the public eye.”

He fined Morais, who lives in Edinburgh’s London Street, £500 and gave him two months to pay.

Sheriff Crowe said this had been reduced from £700 because of the early plea.

After the sentence Morais said: “I am very sorry for all that happened and accept my punishment.

“I apologise to the supporters and everyone connected with Hibernian. I have had a good rapport with the supporters. However I accept that my behaviour was well below the standards expected by the Club. I can only hope that people will understand that this was totally out of character and will not happen again.”

Scott Lindsay, Chief Executive of Hibernian FC, said: “The Club cannot condone this behaviour. Filipe accepts that what he did was wrong and was a bad example for the many thousands of young people who look up to football players. Filipe has apologised to the supporters and to the Club.

“Now that the matter has been settled by the Courts, Filipe will be dealt with through the Club’s own disciplinary procedure, the outcome of which will remain private between the Club and player.”

Casinos set for bumper weekend thanks to Bond

By Kate Smail


THE stakes are high at casinos around the country this week – thanks to the release of the latest James Bond flick.


Quantum of Solace will hit screens today (Friday) and casino bosses are rubbing their hands in glee at the increase in custom in the run up to the release.


And they say that they owe it all to the glamourous gambling scenes that have become synonymous with Bond.


As fans try to desperately emulate the Bond image, casinos are cashing in.


Paul Rety, venue director at Alea in Glasgow says they have seen an increase in custom over the past few weeks and hopes the rush continues.


He explains: “As well as gadgets, fast cars and glamorous women, casinos have always been a big part of the James Bond persona. As a result with the release of the new film, interest in the casinos increases.


“I’m sure that the launch of Quantum of Solace will inspire more Scots to look for a taste of the James Bond lifestyle.” 


And marketing manager Nicola MacKenzie agrees: “Guys up and down the country want to be just like him and dream about having their own Bond Girl on their arm, while girls envy the looks and attitude of each new Bond girl.”


The weekend is now set to be flush with Bond-themed events in casinos everywhere, including Gala’s Riverboat Casino in Glasgow.


Joanna Smith, an organiser at Glasgow’s Riverboat Casino, said: “We did a whole week for the last film and are hoping we can do something similar again this time.


“It was great fun for all the staff to get dressed up in tuxedos or as Bond girls and we have Bond style poker games.”


The capital’s casinos have also enjoyed a business boost off the back of the tuxedo-clad hero.


According to Pauline McNamara, manager of the Circus Casino in Fountainbridge, a new Bond release is the surest ways to pack out the roulette and poker tables with clients trying to emulate their favourite spy.


David Black, Chairman of the James Bond International Fan Club, thinks it’s easy to understand the allure of the casino.


He said: “Most of us live a boring 9-5 existence. We can’t afford an Aston Martin and we certainly can’t pull a Bond girl. We can, however, drink a Martini and visit a casino.


“We’d all like to be hard as nails and living that exciting lifestyle, going to a casino is just an easy way of buying into that glamorous image.”

But if the casino starts to leave you shaken not stirred then gambling charity Gamcare advise you to get in touch.


A spokesperson said: “Gambling can be enjoyed responsibly and a one off night as entertainment can be harmless.


“But if you are spending more money or time than you would like to get in touch and we can help either with face to face counselling, over the phone or online.”