A disgruntled gambler from Stevenage has admitted vandalising two betting shops after losing a large sum of money on gambling machines.

Sam Wilkinson of Chertsey Rise in Stevenage pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal damage at Stevenage Magistrates’ Court on Friday, May 20.

At William Hill bookmakers in The Hyde, Shephall, on Friday, April 8, after losing his bet, Wilkinson hit a betting machine, knocked a chair over and kicked the front door of the shop on his way out.

On Tuesday, May 17, the 27-year-old went into the Stevenage High Street branch of the same chain and, after losing again, pushed one betting machine over, smashed up two more with a chair, wrecked two TV screens and all three of the outside windows before storming out.

In the Old Town incident he caused more than £5,000 worth of damage, the court heard.

He has been bailed to appear at Stevenage Magistrates’ Court on Monday, June 27.