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Diaspora News | Dec 15, 2004

Game’s up for thief of £1k backgammon set

croydonguardian

A cleaner who stole a £1,000 backgammon set from an on-line gambling company has been given 60 hours' community service.

Ghanaian, Ebow Nelson, 40, from Midhurst Avenue, Croydon, worked with security guard Peter Cooke, 57, to steal the board game and other gift items on May 15 this year, Southwark Crown Court heard last Friday.

However, the pair were caught on CCTV, which had been secretly installed at gambling firm The Ritz in London's West End following a number of petty thefts in the building.

The court heard how Cooke had been helping himself to items in the building for some time and that he wanted to get his own back on his employer because they were moving him to another building.

Nelson's defence solicitor told the court her client was a hardworking family man from Ghana and was previously of good character.

Judge Christopher Hardy told Nelson: "What on earth possessed you, aged 40, and a man of good character to commit this offence of dishonesty?

"At your age, you should have known without hesitation that what Mr Cooke was persuading you to help him in was completely dishonest."

He admitted burglary and was ordered to serve a 60-hour community service order and pay £250 in prosecution costs.

Cooke was sentenced to 140 hours' community service at an earlier court hearing.

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