Assistant admits stealing from Chippenham plumbers' merchant (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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Assistant admits stealing from Chippenham plumbers' merchant
An assistant at a plumbers’ merchant stole stock from work which he sold in the car park when he was at work alone.
David Moules worked on the trade counter at the Plumb Center on Bumpers Farm in Chippenham when he turned to crime to supplement his income.
Tessa Hingston, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court the 28-year-old dealt with goods as they came in to the business as well as dealing with customer orders.
She said there was a slack system at the store which meant if goods were not marked as delivered they were deemed to be missing.
That gave employees the opportunity to taken them and then sell them on to customers for cash.
She said: “He was taking items and selling them generally in the car park to customers he knew and trusted and in turn pocketed the cash for those products.”
As a result of losses over four years at the Chippenham branch she said the company installed covert CCTV.
A number of employees were seen stealing and after internal inquires the matter was handed over to the police.
When he was questioned he admitted what he had been doing saying he knew it was wrong and was ‘very stupid’.
Moules, of Lackham Circus, Chippenham, pleaded guilty to theft. He admitted taking goods worth £1,300.
The court heard he had a conviction for attempting to gain a pecuniary advantage by deception from 2003.
Amy Rudman, defending, said: “He managed to get himself involved in this pickle because he moved out of the family home to live with his girlfriend.
“His wages were simply covering the rent and the bills and he was aware of these procedures going on.
“On Saturdays when he was alone he was dealing in the car park in small values. He said it went on for a six month period.”
She said that he had lost his job as a result of the offence which was a shame because he enjoyed it and made good friends there.
Passing sentence Judge Douglas Field said: “The amount of money we are talking about as far as the goods lost are concerned is relatively modest.
“I accept that you are now remorseful and that you were under financial pressure when you started your thieving.”
He imposed a 12 month community order and told him to do 120 hours of community service and pay £600 compensation.
Christopher Woodhouse, 39, of Park Lane, is to have a hearing of fact after admitting taking a fraction of the £28,000 of stock prosecutors say he took.
Simon Lippett, 29, now of Southampton, also faces a hearing to determine how much stock he stole.