Worker stole NHS’ IT equipment on job
7:00pm Friday 16th August 2013 in Latest News
An IT worker who stole more than £10,000 worth of computer equipment bound for the NHS has walked free from court.
John Pusledzki was employed as a contractor at the Windmill Hill Business Park when he abused his position to steal the items.
And the 44-year-old, who escaped capture for four years, then sold them through a company he ran before pocketing the money himself.
Rebecca Austin, prosecuting told Swindon Crown Court Pusledzki was working as an engineer for Cable and Wireless in the autumn of 2008 under the name John Amos.
At the time the firm were working on a high value computer system for the National Health Service, she said.
Although the defendant had a key card allowing him access to the building, it did not get him into the area where the NHS hardware was kept.
“On October 20, 2008, it was noticed by one of the managers that some of the computer equipment had gone missing from the NHS room," she said.
Footage from the building’s CCTV was looked at, and the previous week he was seen going into the room and leaving with a number of cardboard boxes.
Although a total of three items were stolen only two could be linked to Pusledzki, who had sold them through his company.
Miss Austin said he had taken a Cisco router and a switch which together were worth £10,114.14p.
She said the police were only able to locate Pusledzki in October last year when he applied for work through a recruitment agency. He was questioned and officers found invoices for the stolen items showing he had sold them four years earlier to a company called International Computer Purchases.
The serial numbers of the hardware matched and bank transfers showed they had paid his company £6,200 for them.
When he was questioned he denied stealing saying he must have bought the items online, meeting a man in Kings Cross, London, to collect them.
Pusledzki, of Hitchin, Hertfordshire, admitted a charge of theft. Mike Pulsford, defending, said although the theft represented a breach of trust it was an opportunistic, one off incident by his client, who has no previous convictions.
“This was a huge IT project costing, as I understand it, hundreds of millions of pounds. The previous government had financed it and then they had basically aborted it,” he said.
Passing sentence Judge Douglas Field said: “You are a man of 44 and hitherto of good character and you leave the court today with a conviction.
“Although this crosses the custody threshold I am prepared to suspend the period of imprisonment.”
He jailed him for three months suspended for a year and told him to do 180 hours of unpaid work, pay £10,114.14p compensation and £85 costs.
The court was told he could still be liable for being sued by Cable and Wireless for any other losses it incurred as a result of the theft.