A teenager plundered his girlfriend's bank account and stole most of her £20,000 inheritance to fuel his gambling addiction, a court heard.

Jack Callinan, 19, made almost three hundred withdrawals from the victim's account, stealing £14,000, Gloucester crown court was told.

Callinan, of Lime Grove, Bell Vue Road, Stroud, admitted 11 charges of fraud, 1 of theft, one of attempted fraud and asked for 259 offences to be taken into consideration.

Judge William Hart sentenced him to 30 weeks custody suspended for 12 months, ordered him to do 150 hours unpaid work, and subjected him to a 9pm-6am electronically tagged curfew for 12 weeks.

"This was a persistent and protracted course of offending in breach of trust," said the judge.

"It demonstrated real meanness on your part. It was exploitative and despicable. Those are words properly applied to what you did.

"You did it partly because of your gambling addiction and partly because of greed and the opportunity being there."

The judge said sentencing guidelines called for a custodial term for a breach of trust involving between £2-£20,000 but he felt able to suspend it because of Callinan's youth and immaturity, his previous good record and his prompt guilty plea.

Judge Hart said he could not order Callinan to pay compensation because he is unemployed and on benefits.

But he added "I hope you feel a moral obligation, however long it takes you, to repay this money. You certainly should do."

Prosecutor David Martin said the victim had been left £20,000 by a grandparent to buy furniture when she set up a home of her own.

She and Callinan did then get a home together and she used money from the inheritance to furnish it, he said. Only she knew the PIN number on the account - but she did allow Callinan to order takeaway meals using her card.

On 30th April this year, said the prosecutor, she realised to her horror that numerous withdrawals had been made from her account and £14,000 had gone. Her balance was just £1.86 when she made the shock discovery.

"Over the next few days she found there had been 289 transactions between 14th August 2010 and 9th March 2011 that she had not authorised," Mr Martin said.

"There had been 194 cash withdrawals from banks in Stroud town centre. There had been up to five transactions a day with up to £250 being taken each day.

"There were also 95 retail cashback transactions, many at Wilkinson's in Stroud.

"Soon after she ended the relationship with him he admitted in Facebook messages that he was responsible for taking the money and that it was spent on gambling.

"He said he'd had a gambling addiction since August 2010 and would take bus trips into town when she was at college and make withdrawals so he could bet at Ladbroke's.

"He also said he had used money to sustain his cannabis habit.

"He said he was entirely responsible for taking £14,344 from the victim's account without her knowledge. He admitted he had exploited her."

Ms Sabhia Pathan, defending, said "He accepts these were despicable offences in breach of trust. She was sure she could trust him, particularly with her financial affairs, and he let her down.

"It was a situation which spiralled out of control,"

He had always thought he would be able to replace them money when he had good gambling wins, she said.

"He has now learnt his lesson. He has joined Gamblers Anonymous and has sessions with them on a weekly basis. He wants to repay that money to her in due course."