Bookmaker to pay back £100,000 over illegal Sunday trading

Pavel Lokhovinin

Benedict Gerard Boyle, 47, of Camlough, Newry, raked in £250,000 over the two-and-a-half years he was illegally opening his shop to punters. Police in Newry “received intelligence’’ that Boyle was opening his Boyle Sports bookmaker’s shop in the town’s Francis Street on a Sunday. In Northern Ireland this was a criminal offence under the Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (NI) Order 1985.

A number of plain clothed police officers visited the accused’s premises and found they were open. Everybody was able to place bets and received betting slips back. Next, a search was carried out by uniformed police officers. They found a substantial amount of betting slips which showed that Boyle had been operating on a Sunday over a period from February 2010 to November 2012. It’s not possible to give an exact figure of how much was taken in, but police reports of somewhere in the region of £250,000 of bets had been placed over this period.

Boyle had pleaded guilty in March this year to three counts of illegal Sunday trading on dates between February 2010 and November 2012. But the court was told that sentencing had been adjourned until Wednesday to resolve issues around a Proceeds of Crime application. The prosecution were seeking a confiscation order for £100,000 which they say was Boyle’s benefit from the illegal Sunday trading.

Passing sentence, the Judge said he was giving Boyle credit for his guilty pleas which he said had “saved both the court’s time and the public purse as such matters may have been complicated for a jury to understand’’. He fined Boyle £1,500 on each of the three offences and gave him six months to pay. Proceeds of Crime Order were made in a sum of £100,000. Boyle was told that he had until March 2016 to pay back the six-figure sum which he said was the “benefit of his crimes’’.

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