A factory worker who was given a £22,000 redundancy payment blew every penny of it in just three hours of online gambling.
Mark Petticrew was spending more than £120 per minute as he tore his way through his payoff from the Michelin tyre plant in Dundee.
Prior to being made redundant in 2018, Petticrew had become addicted to online bookmaker sites and was spending all of his wages online.
He started to rack up heavy debts and turned to drug dealing which eventually led to him being jailed for 28 months last year.
Yesterday, Petticrew was back at Perth Sheriff Court to face a Proceeds of Crime hearing as prosecutors tried to claw back the profit he made from dealing.
However, fiscal depute Matthew Kerr asked for the confiscation claim – for £4,600 found in Petticrew’s home – to be formally dropped. Sheriff William Wood confirmed the claim would be abandoned.
It is understood that Petticrew did not seek the return of the cash found in his home, and investigators simply found a further trail of betting-related debts in his name.
Petticrew revealed the extent of his gambling problem which culminated in the loss of his entire redundancy in the space of a single evening.
A source close to the case said: “He has no money at all now, just debts. The Crown were looking for his profits but anything he made was spent online and it’s all gone.
“He spent more than £22,000 he was given as a payoff in about three hours. It demonstrates how quickly your money can disappear online.”
Petticrew – who bragged about selling the best cocaine in Dundee – admitted dealing the drug and was sent to prison for 28 months.
Perth Sheriff Court was told last year that Petticrew had been dealing 365 days a year and set up an online banking system for his regular customers.
Fiscal depute Mairi Graham told the court that a large quantity of cash was found when officers raided the home he shared with his mother on 21 January 2019.
Solicitor Gary McIlravey, defending, said Petticrew claimed the cash in his home was part of a large win he had online gambling a fortnight before the police raid.
He said: “Whilst he was online gambling, he had a successful win of £12,031. That payment is detailed in his bank statement.
“It was withdrawn from the bank and he asked his mother to look after the sum of £4,600 as he knew he would fritter it away.
“He was in employment at the time and earning £2,500 per month. There was income from drugs, his employment and gambling but the remainder of the money went fairly quickly.”
Petticrew was caught doing £130 deals every day, including Christmas Day, over a 16-month period as he flooded Dundee with cocaine.
He was only caught with a small amount of the drug, but the police found a massive log of customer orders stored on his mobile phone.
Miss Graham told the court: “A large number of text messages were found on his phone relating to the sale of cocaine between 24 October 2017 and 21 January 2019.
“He was selling on a daily basis including Christmas Day. He was also using cocaine himself. Most were paying by online banking.
“Most were regular customers. There were messages seeking to recoup debts from customers. Some told him they were struggling.”
One customer said: “Please… it’s my wee man’s birthday,” while another said: “It’s totally f***** my life recently. I’m stressed out my box.”
Miss Graham said Petticrew was selling from his home and was also going out to “various pubs and nightclubs in Dundee” to deliver cocaine.
He bragged about the strength of the cocaine he was selling after one customer reported vomiting and boasted: “It’s the best stuff you’ll find in Dundee.”
Petticrew, 26, of Bowbridge Place, admitted being concerned in the supply of cocaine in Dundee and on the A90 near Glencarse between 24 October 2017 and 21 January 2019.
Mr McIlravey said: “He is someone who was extremely naive in his approach to the offence.
“His drug and alcohol use and gambling spiralled out of control to the point where he was struggling financially and that caused him to turn to the supply of cocaine.
“It’s not usual for someone dealing drugs to arrange payment by online banking as it leaves a trail. There were endless texts to indicate an awful lot of people owed him money.
“He was running at a very low profit margin indeed. He has literally nothing to show for it.”
Sheriff Wade said: “Over a period of 16 months you sold Class A drugs every day and each deal was £120 or £130.
“Whilst you may not be a particularly efficient drug dealer, you are a major player in the drugs scene.”