Gambling addict caught and jailed - Bedford

23/08/2013

A gambling addict fleeced bank accounts of friends and associates and then twice jumped bail to evade justice. But Muhith Miah was tracked down to Greater Manchester and brought back to face the music for offences committed in Kettering and Bedford in 2005 and 2008.

Miah, 31, was jailed for a total of two years at Luton Crown Court on Friday, 23 August 2013.

The restaurant worker, from Manor Close, Oldham, pleaded guilty to theft, forgery, fraud, using false documents, deception and failing to surrender to bail.

Claudette Elliott, prosecuting for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said the first set of offences were committed in May 2008. He was a working at an Indian restaurant in Kettering and formed a platonic friendship with a Chinese woman who worked at a take away next door. One night he asked to stay at her flat and she agreed. While she slept, he stole two cheques from her cheque book, and used one to obtain £10,000. She only realised when she tried to transfer some money to her mother and did not have enough funds.

He was arrested, but claimed he was given the cheque by a man in a casino who owed him money. He was granted bail, but disappeared.

In April 2008 he was living in Bedford and managed to obtain a duplicate driving licence in the identity of a man he was working for. He also obtained his bank details. On 08 April , using the fake driving licence for identity, he withdrew £1,000 at two different branches of Barclays in Bedford. Later the same day he went back to the Harpur Street branch and tried to withdraw a further £2,000, but the cashier was suspicious and alerted police. After a struggle, he was arrested with the help of an off duty prison officer. He later confessed that he had lost the first £2,000 at BetFred and gone back to try and get some more. Again he disappeared and was tracked down to the Manchester area earlier this year.

Andrew Calcut, defending, said since 2008 he had dealt with his gambling addiction and settled down in his arranged marriage. He now had two children and recently learned a third was on the way.

"He wanted to hand himself in, but also wanted to get enough money together to pay compensation," said the lawyer.

Judge David Farrell QC told Miah: "You have a real propensity to commit fraud, it has become an occupational hazard for friends of yours.

"You sought to avoid justice for years, you are a thoroughly dishonest person."

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