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Binley B&Q manager jailed over stock theft

A dishonest boss at a Coventry DIY store stole stock worth more than £13,000 to sell on eBay, a court heard.

Stuart King was a trusted and long-serving senior member of staff at B&Q’s Binley store.

But for two years he smuggled out electric drills and other goods – and then flogged them on eBay.

King, 39, of Wyver Crescent, Stoke, made about £7,000.

A court heard that King would hide valuable goods inside a box of something large such as wheelbarrow.

He would just pay for the large item, knowing that as a manager he would not be checked as he left.

But he was caught after a B&Q fraud investigator who was monitoring the online auction site traced the sales back to him, and at the crown court in Leamington he pleaded guilty to the theft.

King, was sentenced to ten months in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 220 hours of unpaid work.

Prosecutor Lal Amarasinghe said King was a trading manager at the store but over a two-year period prior to December last year he stole goods including drills, bathroom fittings and window vacuums, worth a total of £13,363 from it.

His offences came to light after a company fraud investigator conducted a search of items stocked by B&Q which were being offered for sale on eBay.

The investigator went to the Binley store and interviewed King who confessed straight away.

Police searched his home, where they found stolen drills and other items worth a total of £3,136.

When arrested, King admitted stealing items and selling them on eBay for about two years.

He said he was buying a house with his partner, but that their income dropped when she became pregnant and stopped working. He said he stole goods which he knew would be easy to sell on ebay, and had made about £7,000.

Mr Amarasinghe said he was not asking for Proceeds of Crime Act hearing because King had already come to an arrangement with B&Q to repay them at a certain amount a month.

Amrisha Parathalingam, defending, said King is the carer for his 22-month-old son since his partner went back to work. She said King began committing the thefts because he was in a lot of debt and could not manage.

Sentencing King, Judge Alan Parker told him: “You were thoroughly and persistently dishonest.”

Source : Coventry Telegraph

15 February 2014
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