A character reference from former magician Paul Daniels has helped his youngest son escape a prison sentence despite stealing £10,000 from the NHS to pay debts.
Gary Daniels carried out the fraud after the end of his long-term relationship left him with credit card debts and mortgage arrears of £30,000.
Working as an IT technician in a hosptial, Gary authorised unnecessary jobs and then paid himself for the work.
The scam was uncovered after staff at the hospital trust became suspicious and investigated.
Forty-year-old Gary lost his job, sold his home and is currently living with his father and stepmother, Debbie McGee.
And it is believed that a letter from 71-year-old Paul saved his son from going to jail.
"I have read references from your father and step-mother," the judge said in court.
"I bear in mind the unusual circumstances that you were in which led to this crime of yours, and I take into account your unblemished character."
As a result, Gary's eight-month prison term has been suspended for 18 months.