Preston adult care firm had £6k stolen from credit card by thieving employee

An employee stole money from a company that cares for disabled adults.

By Stef Hall
Monday, 8th February 2021, 3:45 pm

Oliver Martin, 59, of Horns Lane, Goosnargh, Preston, spent £6,462.27 belonging to Preston-based Shared Approach Ltd using a company credit card over a period between February 2016 and September 2019.

When caught he admitted spending the cash on cigarettes and alcohol because he had been in a "bad place".

The court heard transactions for petrol and groceries were also discovered.

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Crown Court

Prosecuting, Megan Tollett described how Martin raised suspicions when he failed to submit paperwork on time and failed to comply with a company practice related to spending more than £100 on the card.

She said: "As a result of concerns bank statements were obtained for the particular card."

She said a breakdown of transactions between March 2016 and September 2019 recorded a total of £13,658 in transactions by the defendant made, including unauthorised transactions - i.e. not for service users.

He later confessed £6,462.27 of it was for his own gain.

In September 2019 Martin went on sick leave and the following month a company director wrote to him to inform him he was being investigated.

Later he attended work meetings during which he admitted using the credit card for his own personal use.

In a police interview Martin accepted he had been in a position of trust, and told officers he was ashamed and embarrassed and deeply regretted his actions.

Representing himself at Preston Crown Court he pleaded guilty to theft by an employee, and said: " I'm ashamed of what I did, I'm so sorry."

Imposing an eight month jail term, suspended for 12 months, Judge Beverly Lunt said: " You're right, it's disgraceful. You should be ashamed.

"I'll tell you this - if you'd taken a penny from one of those vulnerable people you'd be going straight down those stairs to prison."

She told him she could suspend the jail term because his offending stopped two years ago, the sum was minor.

She added: " The company has not been really affected by it, though they might have to tighten up their controls about who uses their Barclaycard.

"There is no sophistication in these offences, didn't try and cover your tracks, nobody else would have been blamed for this."

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