Ladbrokes' electronic security procedures meant that a debit card thief's winnings after a successful day at the races ended up in his victim's bank account.
Jacqueline Boanson was described in court as "the happiest victim of theft ever" after she discovered that her bank balance had actually gone up by £291.40.
Her card had been stolen by Andrew Cameron, who used it to place £50 bets on two horse races.
According to The Times his solicitor, Howard Ogden, told the court: "The horses won but, instead of paying my client the cash, Ladbrokes paid the winnings into [Boanson's] account.
"It was only when she inquired at Ladbrokes that they discovered how the money had been credited to her. Andy Cameron did her proud and she must be the happiest victim that we ever had in this court."
A Ladbrokes spokesman told the newspaper that Boanson had effectively placed a no-risk bet thanks to the company's electronic security procedures.
"Cameron was on a hiding to nothing, because he would have needed ID matching the card to get paid in cash, otherwise bets using a debt or credit card are always paid electronically into a bank account," he said.
Cameron pleaded guilty to stealing the card and obtaining the two bets by deception, and was placed on probation for 12 months.
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