A gambling addict stole nearly £2,000 from his partner.

Richard Keith Lightfoot, of Hamilton Terrace, Milford Haven, pleaded guilty to theft when he appeared at Haverfordwest magistrates court on Wednesday, February 27.

Sian Vaughan, prosecuting, said Lightfoot’s partner became aware that money had been taken from her account between July 26 and October 6 last year.

A total of £1,990 was stolen in amounts ranging from £190 to £20.

Lightfoot, who had previous convictions for dishonesty, admitted the offence when interviewed.

Mike Kelleher, defending, said: “He is very apologetic and regrets what happened.”

Mr Kelleher told the bench that Lightfoot, 57, had a gambling addiction.

“Unfortunately, such things are not easily cured. On this particular occasion he appears to have fallen foul of the temptation to gamble.”

A letter from his partner was handed to the bench.

Probation officer Mark Brosnan told the court that there had been an element of planning in Lightfoot’s theft, as he had not passed the card on to his partner when it arrived in the post.

He added that Lightfoot had previously been jailed for stealing £20,000 from his mother, which he spent gambling.

Mr Brosnan said: “This is a further breach of trust and taking a significant amount of money from the person closest to him.”

The court heard that Lightfoot had been betting since the age of 19, and started to gamble heavily in the last 20 years.

Magistrates handed Lightfoot a 26 week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, with a 12-month community order, a ten-day rehabilitation activity requirement and 250 hours of unpaid work.

He was ordered to pay £1,990 compensation, £85 costs and a £115 surcharge.

The chairman of the bench said: “This is a serious offence. We are giving you this chance to get rehabilitated.”