Bar manager gambled World Cup draw cash

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A bar manager who gambled away collections for a World Cup draw has been ordered to complete 80 hours of community service.

John Donnelly of Earhart Park, pleased guilty to 11 charges of theft committed between July 3, 2008 and June 7, 2010.

Derry Crown Court heard that the 44-year old was the manager of the Phoenix Bar when the World Cup draw had started.

More than 50 people paid £2 per week into the draw and the total stolen by Donnelly was £19,500.

The court heard that addiction “took hold” of Donnelly after losing £57,000 of his own money through gambling.

Defence Counsel Mark Reel said the 44-year-old lost his job as a result of the offences, was ostracised by his own family and had lost his reputation.

He revealed Donnelly was determined to pay back the money and has so far repaid between £800 and £1200.

Judge Piers Grant also ordered the 44 year-old to spend 15 months on probation.

He said Donnelly had frittered away the money rather than spend it on necessities.

He added:” You always thought you would strike lucky and all your problems would be solved by gambling.”