The manager of an arcade stole tens of thousands of pounds from slot machines and the branch safe to fund her gambling addiction.
Danielle Lowe stole more than £ 60,000 in cash from Admiral Casino on Union Street in the city center over a five month period by abusing her position.
But yesterday, Tuesday, she was spared an immediate sentence at Liverpool Crown Court.
The court heard the 24-year-old’s supervisors became aware of a mismatch in funds at the site in February last year.
Lowe of Blackledge Close in Cinnamon Brow admitted she had been withdrawing money from the safe and slot machines since last September after being confronted.
She confessed that she developed her addiction after starting to gamble “by escape” from an abusive relationship and incurring “substantial” debt as a result.
The defendant then reported to the police about the fraud, which amounted to £ 66,151.80, or about 10 weeks of earnings.
Defense attorney Charlotte Kenny told the court that her client was “ashamed” of her actions, adding, “She knew it was a matter of time before this was discovered and it was a great relief when it was revealed .
“Despite the shame and guilt, she was relieved that it had come to an end.
“This is a young woman who, as a result of this insult, has already been punished from her own view of herself.
“If this addiction can be restricted and stopped, it will never darken the courts again.”
Lowe, who had been on the premises for four years prior to the start of her crime and was a construction manager for two years, admitted clerical theft and incorrect accounting during an earlier trial.
She received a 12 month sentence, suspended for two years, and a rehabilitation period of up to 25 days. She was also ordered to do 175 hours of unpaid work.
Judge Anil Murray, who was convicted, said, “I accept that because of your subsequent behavior, you have become genuinely repentant – you sought help and changed your behavior.
“You are usually an honest and hardworking person.
“This has to be a prison sentence, the question is whether I can take this prison sentence.
“I’ve decided that I can skip this sentence in this case, but it was close.
“When we meet again, give me no choice but to send you to jail.”
Lowe – who has no previous convictions – is due to be taken for a criminal proceeds law hearing later this year that could be ordered to repay her illicit winnings.