6:00am Wednesday 23rd April 2014
By Jenny Loweth
An angry gambler was jailed for smashing up a Bradford betting shop after accusing staff of “skanking” him over a wager on the dogs.
Regular customer Daniel Halton wrecked three fixed odds betting terminals with a stool when he lost his temper at a branch of Betfred in Manchester Road, Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday.
Halton, 30, of Newill Close, West Bowling, Bradford, pleaded guilty to demanding money with menaces and criminal damage at the shop on March 1.
Prosecutor Jonathan Sharp said Halton accused staff of cheating him out of his winnings after he bet on a dog race.
He was told to ring customer services but became very angry and smashed up the machines, doing £2,000 of damage.
Halton then seized a security screen, lifted it up and threw it to the floor, causing another £300 damage.
He demanded his winnings and manager Craig Gibson and his staff counted out £175 from the till and handed it over.
Mr Sharp said Halton, who was a regular customer at the shop, was arrested two days later.
He was in breach of a 15-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, imposed in June last year for causing grievous bodily harm in Conucos nightclub in Sackville Street, Bradford.
Andrew Dallas, mitigating for Halton, said he had a hangover at the time of the betting shop incident.
“He was very cross. He lost his temper. It had happened to him before,” he said.
He was £400 up and thought he should be collecting a further £300.
Mr Dallas said staff at the shop must have been astonished that a security screen could simply be lifted out and removed.
He said Halton was realistic about going to prison.
“He sees this as the end of the road and he has brought a huge bag with him,” he said. “He just felt frustrated and helpless in the face of a large organisation because he had been bilked – or as he put it ‘skanked’.”
Judge David Hatton QC labelled Halton’s behaviour “disgraceful”.
“You lost your temper, you caused considerable damage, you behaved in a very threatening manner and you demanded money and got some,” he said.
He jailed Halton for eight months, plus ten months of suspended sentence on top.
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