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Sunday, 13 July 2014

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Carlisle railway worker stole cash from colleagues

A railway worker stole his colleagues’ lottery fund and another employee’s wallet after running up gambling debts.

Thirty-seven-year-old David Ivison stole from fellow workers at Carlisle railway station on two separate occasions, Carlisle Crown Court heard, netting about £3,000.

Prosecutor Becky McGregor said Network Rail employees had started a lottery ball syndicate, which was kept in one man’s locker at the city station.

He went on holiday and returned last June to find the locker wasn’t opening properly. When he checked, all the money was missing.

“Posters were put up around the station requesting the money be returned,” she said. “Envelopes were left for the money to be returned and, on July 1, one of them was left with the £260 returned.”

She said the envelope was passed to police where it was fingerprinted but no matches obtained.

In a separate event, in November, a colleague of Ivison, of Waldergrave Road, Longsowerby, left a wallet containing a large amount of money in his locker. It contained £3,000 in notes from £10 to £100 and was inside his jacket.

“The wallet went missing,” Miss McGregor said.

“CCTV tapes were checked and a man was seen in a bookmakers spending a £100 Scottish note. The finger of suspicion pointed towards him – a Stewart Baxter – and he confirmed the money had been passed to him by Mr Ivison.”

On December 4, Ivison was seen driving to work and getting something out of his jacket when he got out of the car, “looking over his shoulder”. He dropped it on the ground, stamped on it and picked it up again.

Ivison then handed a wallet in to the station manager and said he found outside with ‘a lot’ of money inside, Miss McGregor said.

The wallet was passed to police and fingerprinted. Ivison was later arrested but denied theft. He claimed he won the money he had given to Mr Baxter.

Greg Hoare, for Ivison, said he was a ‘hard working man who had given in to temptation’ in stealing from his colleagues.

“He is a good and decent man brought low by an addiction, not to drink or drugs, but gambling,” he said. “He has lost two things he will never regain; his good character and his good reputation amongst his colleagues.”

Mr Hoare said Ivison, who has no previous convictions, was ashamed of what he had done and made some attempt to repay the money.

Judge Barbara Forrester told him he had breached a position of trust. “Your former colleagues no doubt feel betrayed,” she said.

“Even though the first amount of money was returned, it must have caused suspicion with several of them worrying if they could trust all of their colleagues.”

She said £960 was still outstanding and ordered him to pay that in compensation. Ivison was given an eight-month sentence suspended for 12 months, with unpaid work and supervision by the probation service.

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