A gambling addict’s risk failed to pay off when he stole £140 worth of scratchcards.
Jamie Chambers reached over the counter at a petrol station to nab them.
But he won only £25 – and found himself charged with burglary.
Chambers walked into the store, reached over the counter and grabbed a handful of scratchcard games.
He stuffed them into his pockets and left the store.
Alex Bozman, prosecuting, said: “He entered into an area of the building which is only for staff and that’s why it’s a burglary rather than theft.”
On February 24 Chambers stole £74 worth of candles from the Design 24 gift shop in Albion Street, Cleckheaton.
He put these down the front of his trousers and left the store but was later identified via CCTV footage.
Magistrates were told that Chambers left prison in December 2015 and replaced his history of drink and drug problems with a gambling addiction.
He was described as having an addictive personality and spending his Jobseeker’s Allowance money on scratchcards and fruit machines.
Chambers became addicted to the thrill of gambling and this spiralled out of control, magistrates were told.
He pleaded guilty to charges of theft and burglary other than a dwelling.
His offending began when he was aged just 11 and his solicitor Paul Blanchard said he had represented him in court since day one.
Mr Blanchard said: “He’s got a gambling problem. He stole the candles to buy scratchcards and reached over and grabbed scratchcards.
“He stole £140 worth of scratchcards and managed to win the sum total of £25.
“I think that’s a salutary lesson if ever there was one.
“With an addictive personality the buzz of a win is something which takes him out of the reality of his life.
“I’ve represented him from the beginning and he’s a very pleasant young man.
“When supported with help and assistance he can be put on the straight and narrow.”
Magistrates sentenced Chambers, of Charlesworth Square in Cleckheaton, to a 12 month community order including 15 days of rehabilitation activities.
He will have to pay a total of £214 compensation to the two stores he stole from.