Woman Who Stole $66K to Gamble Says She Is Terrified to Go to Prison

An Irish woman who stole $66,595 to gamble has been sentenced to three years in prison. Unfortunately, her sentence is set to start in July, just a couple of months after the recent birth of her latest child. In an interview with the Sunday World, Emma Louise McLoughlin, 30, expressed her anxiety about the sentence.

McLoughlin, who is a single mother of three, had her last child approximately five weeks ago. The woman told the news outlet that she still hasn’t gotten her affairs together and that she is terrified of having to leave her newborn child alone.

The Irish woman believes that her sentence is too harsh and says that she fears the judge has been against her from the very start.

McLoughlin, who stole thousands from a community playschool she worked for, did so to fuel her gambling addiction. She started gambling during the COVID lockdown, shortly after she lost her previous job. The woman admitted that her habits eventually got out of control, causing her to commit the crime.

In addition to stealing the money, the woman had previously traded in her car and had used some of the money to continue gambling. She also allegedly spent a lot of money on alcohol and drugs.

While McLoughlin tried to make some repayments, she still owes €61,800.

The Judge Believes McLoughlin Misled the Court

The case had been adjourned from previous sittings as the court wanted to allow McLoughlin to pay compensation. Unfortunately, she failed to keep the schedule, infuriating Judge Keenan Johnson, who got β€œsick of the excuses.”

Johnson said that McLoughlin has had every opportunity to do better. However, he believes that she keeps β€œthrowing it back in the court’s face.”

Under the latest offer at paying compensation, McLoughlin would have had to pay €40 a week for 30 years.

Judge Johnson accused the defendant of using the money to continue fueling her addictions instead of abiding by the compensation offer.

Johnson was also not convinced by the claims that McLoughlin was bi-polar, since no evidence for her alleged condition was ever produced. The judge said:

I really take exception to the court being misled and then expecting leniency, which is a two-way street.

Judge Keenan Johnson

According to what she told the Sunday World, McLoughlin never tried to mislead the court.