A GAMBLER who laundered thousands of pounds to fund his gambling addiction has been convicted.

At the end of June last year, Eclipse Financial Management Limited, an insurance broker based in Tangmere, overpaid Pen Underwriting £10,937.35.

The client then contacted Eclipse in an attempt to arrange the return of the money.

The funds were instead transferred into the account of Ronnie Lewry, who was a training and compliance manager working at Eclipse.

It then emerged the 28-year-old, of Brooks Lane West, Bognor, had falsified documents to ensure he was the beneficiary of the overpayment.

The following day, he failed to turn up for work.

As part of a police investigation, Lewry was arrested on October 24 last year, and charged with fraud and conversion of criminal property.

Evidence shows he converted this criminal property through online gambling websites, ATM cash withdrawals and other personal spending.

He fully admitted the offences and at Portsmouth Crown Court on December 18, Lewry was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years.

He was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work in the next 12 months.

Police intend to pursue a confiscation order to recover the funds.