Post Office worker stole £134,000 to fund gambling habit

Darryl Louden leaves Edinburgh Sheriff Court. Picture: Lesley Donald
Darryl Louden leaves Edinburgh Sheriff Court. Picture: Lesley Donald

A YOUNG man with a promising career in the Post Office lost it all when he became addicted to gambling and embezzled more than £134,000 from his bosses.

Daryl Louden, 26, of Niddrie Marischal Place, pleaded guilty at Edinburgh Sheriff Court to embezzling £134,177.46 from the Post Office at RS McColl’s shop, in Ferry Road, between January 1 and September 29, 2016.

He admitted to his area manager David Richardson that he had taken the money and that he had a gambling addiction.

The court heard Louden had three online betting accounts, had worked at the Post Office for six years and had been due for promotion.

Fiscal Depute, Anthony Steele, told Sheriff Frank Crowe that Louden was caught after turning down the chance to undergo training which would have led to a promotion.

The Fiscal said: “Mr Richardson was curious about why he (Louden) had changed his mind.

“He went to the Post Office and carried out a spot check, which confirmed that approximately £135,000 was missing.

“He made contact with the accused and asked where the money was.

“The accused replied ‘I will pay it back’.”

Louden was summoned to Mr Richardson’s office, where he admitted a gambling addiction “which had ruined a relationship and his life”.

Both men went to Drylaw Police Station, where Louden told police he had embezzled the money and spent it online.

The court heard he wanted to repay a loan he had taken out with gambling winnings, but ended up losing more while trying to cover his losses.

Defence solicitor, Jennifer McEvinney, said her client had online accounts with three betting companies, where he gambled on football and horse racing.

She said: “He was having difficulty sleeping and carrying out his functions.

“He told Mr Richardson he no longer wanted promotion,

“He felt things were coming to a head.”

She told the court how Louden broke down in Richardson’s car and told him everything before they went to confess to the police.

Ms McEvinney said Louden had been engaged, but revealed his fiancee had left him because she “simply could not come to terms with what he had done”.

Sheriff Crowe deferred sentence on Louden for reports and allowed him bail.

He warned: “You must appreciate this was a very serious breach of trust.”