Devizes electrician caught in sting spared jail
6:00pm Thursday 13th September 2012 in News
An electrician who stole thousands of pounds worth of stock from work to sell on eBay has walked free from court.
Mark Perry was employed as an electrician at Devizes firm Renelec when he started boosting his income by selling items he had taken after they weren’t used on site.
The 39-year-old was caught after an investigation was launched into tens of thousands of pounds of losses from the company, which saw his cousin jailed.
Colin Meeke, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court on Friday that earlier this year the electrical contractors had a problem with theft. As a result senior staff were monitoring eBay to see if anyone local was offering to sell mid-range electrical items which may have been taken from them.
An eBay user named Sparko36, based in Trow-bridge, was advertising a consumer unit, which is like a fuse box, for sale.
An investigation agent contacted him and agreed to buy the item, going to Perry’s address. When he got hold of the item it was found to be stock specially produced for the company.
Perry was dismissed from his position, the police were informed and when he was arrested they also searched his home, where they found £3,200 worth of stock which had been taken from Renelec.
Perry, of Cheverell Close, Trowbridge, admitted theft and using criminal property which was cash received from sales.
Mike Pulsford, defending, said Perrry had struggled financially after his wife left him in 2009 with their two primary school aged children. He was left in the family home and had to borrow thousands from his mum to help him as he is two months behind with the mortgage.
He said things had been made worse as he lost his job, which paid £25,000 a year and though he had a new position it only paid £18,000.
Judge Douglas Field put him on a one-year community order and told him to do 130 hours of unpaid work and pay £1,000 compensation.
Perry’s cousin Paul Bolter was jailed for 20 months in August after he admitted stealing stock worth £45,000 from Renelec to sell online.
The 40-year-old, who was a buyer at the firm, also sought ‘kickbacks’ from another firm to continue placing orders with them of a three- year and ten-month period.
Bolter, of Sweetbriar Road, Melksham, pleaded guilty to theft and fraud which was ‘seeking inducements from Colin Sawyer to continue to place orders with Temple-gate Electrical Supplies Ltd’.