Thieves raid fruit machines for hundreds of pounds at Funworld Amusements in Swanage

RAID: A file picture of some gambling machines

RAID: A file picture of some gambling machines

First published in News

TWO criminals who stole hundreds of pounds from gaming machines have appeared at Dorchester Crown Court.

Mark Wheatcroft, 45, and 26-year-old Emily Corbin, also known as Smith, admitted charges of theft and going equipped relating to raids on fruit machines in arcades.

The court was told the pair were spotted acting suspiciously in Funworld Amusements in Swanage in September last year.

Wheatcroft was seen on CCTV inserting a rod into one of the machines. He was later arrested and found to have £230 on him while the float for one of the machines, which should have contained £125, was found to be missing. The pair were bailed and were caught again around a month later committing a similar offence in the Worcester area.

Tom Horder, representing Wheatcroft, told the court that it was his client who had played the lead role in the offending.

He said: “He takes full responsibility and he acknowledges that without being with him at the time, it is very unlikely his co-defendant would have been involved.”

Judge Jarvis sentenced Wheatcroft to 35 weeks in prison for the offences as well as a further 15 weeks for a breach of a suspended sentence order.

Corbin was made subject to a community order with a supervision, residence and drug rehabilitation requirements.

Comments (3)

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12:43pm Tue 14 Jan 14

LordLilliput says...

Not condoning crime in any shape or form but the flipping things (fruit machines) rob people every day, preying mainly on those that can't afford the losses in the first place. Hardly an ethical business .The only difference being one is legalised theft. And 8 months in prison for extracting a couple of hundred quid is crazy.. EIGHT MONTHS! Makes an absolute mockery of the sort of lenient sentences that are dished out daily for much more serious offences.
Not condoning crime in any shape or form but the flipping things (fruit machines) rob people every day, preying mainly on those that can't afford the losses in the first place. Hardly an ethical business .The only difference being one is legalised theft. And 8 months in prison for extracting a couple of hundred quid is crazy.. EIGHT MONTHS! Makes an absolute mockery of the sort of lenient sentences that are dished out daily for much more serious offences. LordLilliput
  • Score: 7

12:49pm Tue 14 Jan 14

suzigirl says...

The grabber machines in Swanage are also a rip off!
The grabber machines in Swanage are also a rip off! suzigirl
  • Score: 1

1:58pm Tue 14 Jan 14

samstone says...

LordLilliput wrote:
Not condoning crime in any shape or form but the flipping things (fruit machines) rob people every day, preying mainly on those that can't afford the losses in the first place. Hardly an ethical business .The only difference being one is legalised theft. And 8 months in prison for extracting a couple of hundred quid is crazy.. EIGHT MONTHS! Makes an absolute mockery of the sort of lenient sentences that are dished out daily for much more serious offences.
I totally agree, people get off with less for manslaughter. We need some consistency in the legal system. I once saw a vagrant old man get 3 months for stealing a woolen hat.
[quote][p][bold]LordLilliput[/bold] wrote: Not condoning crime in any shape or form but the flipping things (fruit machines) rob people every day, preying mainly on those that can't afford the losses in the first place. Hardly an ethical business .The only difference being one is legalised theft. And 8 months in prison for extracting a couple of hundred quid is crazy.. EIGHT MONTHS! Makes an absolute mockery of the sort of lenient sentences that are dished out daily for much more serious offences.[/p][/quote]I totally agree, people get off with less for manslaughter. We need some consistency in the legal system. I once saw a vagrant old man get 3 months for stealing a woolen hat. samstone
  • Score: 1

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