Internet ban for publican

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A PUB manager who embezzled thousands of pounds from his employer in a bid to pay off huge gambling debts has escaped a jail sentence – but has been banned from using the internet.

Ian Gregory, 37, was in charge of the David Macbeth Moir public house in Musselburgh when he took more than £18,000 of takings in a bid to wipe out his betting debts.

The pub boss placed large punts of up to £500 on football matches and other sports events after taking the cash from the venue.

Gregory pleaded guilty to embezzling £18,730 between November 3-10 from employers JD Wetherspoon when he appeared at Haddington Sheriff Court last month.

Defence agent Alex Lafferty said his client had been in touch with Gamblers’ Anonymous and it had been 90 days since his last bet.

Sheriff Peter Braid ordered Gregory to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work, to pay his former employers £16,851.22 and placed him on an 18-month Offenders’ Supervision Requirement.

Sheriff Braid also took the unusual step of banning the shamed pub manager from accessing the internet by any device.