A LOTTERY winner squandered thousands of pounds on gambling before resorting to selling drugs in a bid to make cash.

Darren Bernard developed a gambling addiction after winning big on the lottery in 2013, spending almost all the winnings on failed bets.

As his addiction continued, the 29-year-old began to spend all his wages gambling.

In a bid to combat his money woes, he spent six months selling drugs in Southend, with cannabis linked to him totalling almost £3,000.

Mitigating, Madeleine Deasy said: “There was a spiral from 2013. He won a significant amount of money on the lottery and gambled it away quite quickly and developed an addiction.

“He was using the majority if not all of his wages to gamble, putting his young family in a difficult position.

“He becomes more involved in drugs and described to one point during employment he was given cocaine rather than payment.


“It developed from social dealing. He was dealing to family and friends.

“He has registered for Game Stop, a charity that prohibits him signing up to gambling websites.”

He was stopped while driving in Bournemouth Park Road, Southend on April 21 last year at 9.30pm, where police searched the vehicle.

The 29-year-old produced a joint of cannabis, and inside the car and boot were various quantities of the Class B drug.

Bernard also confessed he had been staying at his girlfriend’s address in Basildon, and a search was also conducted there. Cannabis and drug measuring equipment was found.

A smart phone and tablet, containing messages which showed Bernard was offering to sell the cannabis, were also seized.

Bernard, of Boultwood Road, London, admitted being concerned in the supply of cannabis and was sentenced at Basildon Crown Court.

Judge Ian Graham told Bernard: “You were involved in street supply over a period of six months from September 2019.The involvement came out of an obsession of gambling, but now you are in a more stable space and working in a family firm.”

Bernard received eight months suspended for 18 months with 25 hours rehabilitation and 100 hours unpaid work.