This story is proof that some odd things do seem to happen often in the world of bingo!
A man who stole a charity collection from the Gala Bingo in Sunderland was caught after an anonymous phone call to the staff at the hall.
Jason Gray, 45, had downed a bottle of vodka with a friend before making his regular visit to the Gala Bingo in Pallion New Road in the city.
Prosecutor Lee Poppett said that 4 days after the incident, on 17th December, staff received an anonymous phone call.
“The caller said Mr Gray had stolen a charity collection box from the counter several days earlier and was bragging about it to various associates”, Mr Poppett said.
Staff went through the CCTV footage and immediately recognised Mr Gray stealing the charity box. It was believed to have contained £19 in cash.
Gray, of Wilfred Street, Pallion, was arrested and told police he had spent the money on an electricity card for his flat.
He added: “I think I tossed the box away the next morning when I woke up. I feel guilty about it. I was drunk”. With this statement, Gray admitted theft.
Kate Meek, defending, said: “He is really ashamed of his actions. He is disgusted with himself.
“He goes to Gala Bingo on a regular basis and has put money in the charity box himself.
“He has an ongoing problem with alcohol. A friend came around on that morning and brought a bottle of vodka with him. He then went off to Gala Bingo as he normally does. He wakes up the next morning and there is a charity box there.
“He doesn’t recognise or accept that he bragged about it. It was his ex-girlfriend who told all and sundry. He knows he is not going to be welcome at Gala Bingo again, which is one of his main social activities and he knows a lot of people will take a very dim view of what he’s done. He was struggling with his finances and in a drunken state has decided to take this money for the electricity meter.
“He knows he is going to be a bit of a pariah in the local community, as thanks to his ex-girlfriend everyone now knows about it.”
Gray was fined £65 and told to pay £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge. He was also ordered to pay £19 in compensation to Gala Bingo.
We bet he’s regretting his silly actions now!