A former problem gambler jailed for nine years for the theft of almost £1m has been ordered to pay more than £150,000 in compensation to his victims.

And Garry Richard Vernon was told the prosecution would seek further confiscation orders in future years.

Vernon, who had a career in financial services, was convicted by a jury of three counts of theft totalling £997,068 in February this year following an 11-day trial.

His thefts resulted in a large part of the estate of his wife’s grandfather, the late Evan Gelling Fargher, being lost.

Jailing him for nine years at the Court of General Gaol Delivery in April, Deemster Graeme Cook told him: ‘You were extremely deceitful and morally disgusting. The family has been torn apart. You should be thoroughly ashamed.’

On Friday last week, Vernon appeared in court via video link from prison for a confiscation hearing.

The court heard his estranged wife was going to buy his share of their property, and Vernon could draw £12,681 a year from his pension. He had already taken a lump sum from it when he was 50, which made a difference to what he could take from his pension, prosecutor Linda Watts told the court.

She said the amount he had available to pay in compensation was £152,300 but she would be seeking further confiscation orders as his pension paid out.

Deemster Cook issued a confiscation order for £152,300, which he said would apply as compensation for the victims.

Vernon was given six months to pay that sum and was told he would serve 18 months in default if he did not.

Isle of Man Examiner, August 29, 2023

At his trial, the jury heard that the defendant had befriended Mr Fargher and told him that his finances were not being handled well.

He then persuaded him to transfer £100,000, which he used for a speculative foreign exchange investment. That money was lost in a short space of time as was a further £100,000 he transferred from his victim’s accounts.

Vernon’s gambling addiction took over and he was chasing his losses.

Mr Fargher lived in the Castle View nursing home in Peel from December 2009 until his death in April 2013 at the age of 89.

When the old man died, Vernon gave a letter to his widow explaining what he had done. Defence advocate Stephen Wood said his client had had a pathological gambling disorder and given the nature of his addiction, he just could not stop.

The offences took place between January 2010 and April 2013.

The court heard that Vernon, of Glen Auldyn, Ramsey, had no previous convictions and his gambling addiction had lost him his marriage and in 1998 a trusted job at the Bank of Bermuda.

Mr Wood said his client had since found ‘considerable solace’ with the Living Hope church.

Deemster Cook jailed him for nine years for count 1 – the theft of £663,945 – and for five years and two years to run concurrently for the other two counts, the thefts of £325,273 and £7,850 respectively.

Vernon will be eligible for automatic release after serving two third of that sentence and can apply for parole after serving half.