Oldham gambler who fleeced friends jailed

A gambler who admitted stealing from his friends and associates' bank accounts has been jailed for two years.

Muhith Miah, 31, from Oldham, jumped bail twice and fled into hiding but was tracked down to his address earlier this year.

Luton Crown Court heard the offences were committed against a Chinese woman in Kettering, Northamptonshire, and an employer in Bedford in 2005 and 2008.

Judge David Farrell QC said he was a "thoroughly dishonest person".

The restaurant worker, from Manor Close, Oldham, pleaded guilty to theft, forgery, fraud, using false documents, deception and failing to surrender to bail.

'Occupational hazard'

Claudette Elliott, prosecuting, said when he was a working at an Indian restaurant in Kettering he formed a platonic friendship with a Chinese woman and asked to stay at her flat one night.

While she slept, he stole two cheques from her cheque book, and used one to obtain £10,000.

He claimed a man in a casino who owed him money gave him the cheque. He was granted bail but disappeared.

In April 2008 in Bedford he managed to obtain the bank details of a man he was working for and withdrew £1,000 at two different branches.

Later he tried to withdraw a further £2,000 but the cashier was suspicious and alerted police.

He confessed he had lost the first £2,000 at a bookies and gone back to try and get some more.

Judge Farrell said: "You have a real propensity to commit fraud, it has become an occupational hazard for friends of yours.

"You sought to avoid justice for years, you are a thoroughly dishonest person."

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