A labourer gambled away cash he took from the owner of a property he was working on.

Jamie Spencer pocketed £400 he was meant to use to provide a controller for underfloor heating.

Spencer, of New North Road in Slaithwaite, pleaded guilty to fraud.

Kirklees magistrates heard that he spent the money on a gambling addiction he’d had for six years.

Alex Bozman, prosecuting, said that Frank Mumby had asked Spencer to help him with his self-build project in Wrawby in Lincolnshire.

He was recommended by another worker on the property and was employed to install underfloor heating.

Mr Bozman said: “There was a need for a controller which Mr Spencer said he would obtain. A figure of £150 was mentioned and he was given money for the installation as well, totalling £410 in cash”.

On January 14 Mr Mumby received a text from Spencer saying that it would cost an extra £250 as he had to source the parts from someone else.

Spencer then failed to respond to further texts and a phone call by Mr Mumby. He was eventually arrested.

Catherine McCullough, mitigating, said that the incident wasn’t fraudulent from the outset and it was only when her client initially failed to get the part that he spent the money on his gambling addiction.

She said: “He’s had a gambling addiction for six years and was hiding it from his family”.

Magistrates heard that Spencer has since lost his job and his partner,

They sentenced him to a 21-day curfew as punishment. Spencer must also pay £400 compensation to Mr Mumby and £60 victim surcharge.