Mansfield man stole to fund gambling after double heartbreak

Mansfield Magistrates Court
Mansfield Magistrates Court

A Mansfield man who sought solace in online gambling after the tragic deaths of his baby daughter and childhood sweetheart was caught shoplifting to fund his addiction.

Steven Underwood stole two £60 DVD players from B&M, on September 20 and 26, as well as £25 of electrical items from the same store, on September 30.

Abbie Edwards, mitigating, said he had moved in with his long term partner from school, and they both worked until she gave birth to a baby girl in October 2018.

But the little girl died of sudden infant death syndrome that December, and "understandably they both found it very difficult to deal with that loss," she said.

In April this year, his partner committed suicide, said Ms Edwards, "as she couldn't deal with it any more."

"It was Mr Underwood who returned home to find his partner dead in the property.

"He went out on a bit of a binge on alcohol and drugs to mask his pain. He quickly lost his job and didn't return to the property, so became homeless.

"He began gambling online and picked up an addiction to gambling. The thefts were committed with a view to fund his new addictions.

"He is now living at the YMCA and finally agreed to see a psychiatrist and has been prescribed medication.

"This is someone who, I am sure, would never have bothered the courts if not for such a dreadful set of circumstances," Ms Edwards said.

"Appearing at court has had a big impact on him and it is not something he takes lightly."

Underwood, 23, of Commercial Gate, admitted the thefts when he appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on Thursday.

Magistrates said they had sympathy for what had happened to him in the last 12 months.

He received a 12 month conditional discharge and was fined £120.

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