A former pub manager has been jailed for nine months for stealing nearly £12,000 of his employer's money and betting it on the horses.
Gambling addict Lance Warburton was manager of Marston's Inns-owned the Plough, in Gresford, near Wrexham, when he took cash from the till to place bets.
Mold Crown Court heard on June 7, 2007, the theft came about following a warning from Marston's regarding earlier stock losses.
In a bid to sort them out, Warburton took £500 from the till, put it on a horse, but it lost. Over the next week, he tried to gamble it back, didn't win, and ended up stealing £11,881.
Warburton has since been declared bankrupt with debts of £90,000.
Warburton had previously stolen £8,000 when he was manager of another Marston's pub, the Custom House, in Chester, the court heard.
On that occasion, Marston's - which thought highly of the manager - decided not to prosecute after his parents paid all the money back.
The judge said that Warburton accepted full responsibility for the latest theft.
It was he who drew it to his employers' attention, and he was assessed as a low risk of re-offending.
But the judge said: "It is inevitable that I must impose an immediate sentence of custody."
Prosecuting barrister Andrew Green told how the manager did not notify the company of stock losses because he believed he could "make up" the deficit.
He realised his mistake and tried to make up the loss with a bet. "The horse didn't win," said Mr Green. "From that point his gambling spiralled."
Defending barrister Chris Moss said Warburton was full of remorse and felt he had let his family down.
Moss said that gambling addiction was "a disease he (Warburton) suffered and was unable to control".
"He knows he will be unable to work with money again," Moss added.
Martson's Inns declined to comment.