A GAMBLING addict who conned bookmakers across Bolton out of £3,500 in a roulette machine fraud has failed in a Court of Appeal bid for freedom.

In three days last November, Florian Abazi, aged 26, targeted branches of Ladbrokes across the area, before he was finally caught.

He pleaded guilty to fraud and was jailed for a year at Derby Crown Court last month, but launched a Court of Appeal challenge to the sentence yesterday.

But Mr Justice Edwards-Stuart, sitting with Mr Justice Treacy at the London court, said there was nothing wrong with his sentence and rejected his appeal application.

Abazi, whose most recent address was in West Drayton, London, had a maintenance key which fitted roulette machines in Ladbrokes shops.

An experienced gambler, Abazi knew immediately after placing a bet on the machine whether he had a winner or not, and used the key to stop the mechanism if he realised he was not going to win.

He would then ask for his money back from cashiers, before placing another bet until he eventually won.

He was caught when a member of staff became suspicious.