A MAN stripped his wife of all her money and left her suicidal as he tried to meet his gambling debts, York Crown Court heard.

Mustafa Yildrim’s wife lent him her bank card to buy food when she was confined to bed with a chest infection.

But he continued to use her bank account after she recovered and hid her bank statements so she wouldn’t discover what he was doing, said Kate Bisset, prosecuting.

Not until the account was empty and unable to pay her direct debits did she realise what he had done. He had also taken thousands of pounds through her PayPal account.

Now she is terrified bailiffs will seize her belongings to pay debt agencies and has attempted to take her own life.

In all, he had taken £20,778 over about a year.

“I don’t feel safe in my own house,” she said in a victim impact statement. “I should not be living like this. Everyone has a right to feel happy. The last few months have been a nightmare.”

Store supervisor Mustafa Yildrim, 38, of Avon Close, Huntington, pleaded guilty to fraud and theft.

The Honorary Recorder of York, Judge Paul Batty QC, gave him a two-year prison sentence, but suspended it for two years so he could repay all the money.

He also ordered Yildrim to do 150 hours’ unpaid work and 15 days’ rehabilitative activities in addition to the compensation order.

“Because of the ease gambling can be done online it has become a real problem and some would say a scourge of our society,” the judge told Yildrim.

“Your case is no different from so many that come before the court.

“This was heartless offending. Your wife trusted you.”

Talking about Yildrim’s wife’s suicide attempt, he said: “That is the effect your offending has had upon her and that is the effect gambling can have upon others within the family.”

Ms Bisset said Yildrim’s wife was divorcing him and changing back to her maiden surname to remove any link of their 14-year marriage.

She was also ashamed that she had to apply for state benefits because she was used to providing for herself.

For Yildrim, Georgina Goring said he wanted to repay his wife and was willing to take a second job to do so.

His employers knew about the case and wanted him to keep his current job, said the defence barrister.

He had started gambling as a form of stress relief when he saw a television advert.

At the time, he had a “considerable debt” from installing a new kitchen. As his thefts continued, he had hoped to repay them through gambling.

Yildrim is currently under an individual voluntary agreement to pay off other debts, the court heard.