A PINDAR worker stole items worth thousands of pounds from his employer because he was concerned he would be made redundant, a court heard.
Stephen Gowan, 52, of Caymer Road in Eastfield, sold goods on auction website eBay because he wanted to “feather his own nest” after he became aware of the perilous state of the Scarborough company’s finances.
He abused his position to make around £1,000 by selling the electrical components and when police searched his home parts worth a further £4,500 were recovered.
Gowan was spared an immediate jail sentence by Recorder Andrew Campbell QC yesterday, after he was told that the items taken by Gowan had been either ordered incorrectly by Pindar or had become obsolete.
Prosecutor Alan Mitcheson told York Crown Court, sitting at Harrogate: “He knew the company was in difficulty and decided he would feather his own nest at their expense so he would have some form of nest egg should he lose his employment.
“It began as a trickle and became an avalanche by the time the police decided to pay him a visit.”
Gowan’s enterprise came to light after Pindar bosses saw items belonging to the company for sale on eBay. Initial suspicions that parts were being stolen to order proved incorrect.
Simon Reevell, mitigating, said his client had only taken items that were useless to the printing company.
He added: “A company might have a printer, but replace it with a better printer but still have the old ink cartridges.
“They may have a retail value, but in reality they would be obsolete parts for a piece of equipment that is no longer used.
“This was not an offence where he was taking stock from the shop floor which would have had the effect of making the business’s position even more difficult.”
He added that Gowan, who admitted theft by employee, had found a new job as a shift manager since leaving Pindar, despite the fact that he had made no secret of the criminal proceedings against him.
A technical and managing director, who had been Gowan’s boss and worked at Pindar for more than 30 years, provided a character reference to the court in which he described Gowan as an honest man.
Sentencing Gowan, Recorder Campbell QC said he had been persuaded to suspend an 18 week custodial sentence for 12 months.
He added: “You have let many people down, as I’m sure you are aware. You have lost your good name and that is something that no doubt you are thoroughly ashamed of.
“You embarked upon a dishonest means of trying to fill your pockets because you were concerned that the company was in such a perilous state.
“I have no doubt that you will not be back before the court in future.”
Gowan was also told to complete 80 hours of unpaid work and pay costs of £425.