A trusted employee who stole more than £10,000 from his boss before selling it on eBay under the username ‘mybossisanumpty’ has avoided jail.
Kevin Smith took specialist tools and equipment from Norman Precision in Stonehouse before the company hired a private detective to catch him.
Smith was given a suspended jail sentence at Gloucester Crown Court, but was left ordered to pay £10,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act, as well as £17,500 in compensation.
Judge Jamie Tabor QC told Smith, who was the highest paid employee at the firm; he did it for thrills and money.
He told him: “It is always regrettable when a 54-year-old who has never been in trouble before suddenly appears at crown court.
“I find it quite difficult to get to the bottom of you.
“You appear on occasions arrogant and on other occasions you appear to be quite sensitive and a good family man – you are not an easy man to fathom.
“For three years you, a highly skilled and capable man, stole from your employers and I am quite sure the motivation here was money and personally enriching yourself.
“Over that time suspicion was falling on other employees.”
Defending Sabhia Pathan said Smith of The Bassetts, Cashes Green in Stroud had found new employment, who knew of the theft and without him that firm would suffer.
Judge Tabor added: “I think it would be wrong to bring down a small engineering firm, but you must understand that over the next two years, if you steal as much as a pencil you will be going to prison for a very long time.
“Let it be a lesson to all those who steal.”
As well as the compensation, Smith was given an 18 months jail term, suspended for two years with 250 hours unpaid work.
He will also have to pay £1,000 costs and was given six months to pay all the cash or face an addition one year in prison.
Smith admitted stealing more than £3,000 worth of tools between Christmas 2012 and August, last year, but denied taking more.
During a hearing at the same court earlier this year, prosecutor Virginia Cornwall said Smith used other employees’ PIN codes to get access to the tools before his thefts were caught on CCTV.
But boss Kevin Norman, managing partner of the engineering firm, told the court the company got suspicious after an increase in spend on tools, and in particular 20mm cutters worth around £157 each.
He said tools were being booked out in employees’ names, when they were not working in the factory.
Prolific eBay user, Smith, of The Bassetts, Cashes Green in Stroud, became the chief suspect and a private investigator was brought in.
Mr Norman told the court tools were being sold under the account Mybossisanumpty, registered to Leeds. But when something was ordered from it, the return address was in Stroud and it was sent Smith’s daughter’s name, Chloe.
Mr Norman said: “We felt certain it was him, but if we got it wrong we would have been mortified so to be absolutely certain we decided to fit CCTV before going to the police.”
Cameras were set up while Smith was on holiday and Mr Norman said since he had left the company, it was spending 40 per cent a month less on the cutters.