Designer clothing theft by employee

A WAREHOUSE worker stole up to £15,000 worth of clothing from a Scarborough retailer to fund his gambling addiction, a court heard.

Simon Smith, 23, of Falsgrave Road, appeared before Scarborough magistrates for sentencing having pleaded guilty to one charge of theft by employee.

The offence took place between February 11 and September 23 this year, while Smith worked at Mainline Menswear.

The court heard Smith took advantage of his position in the company’s distribution warehouse, in Eastfield, where he illegally posted goods.

Smith admitted sending up to 35 parcels, with a retail value of up to £15,000.

However he only made between £2,000 and £2,500 from selling the designer clothes.

Prosecuting Catherine Turnbull told the court the witness in the case, who had overall control of the warehouse, started watching employees after he noticed stock going missing.

Mrs Turnbull said: “The only way to remove stock would be to use the shipping method, so he started to concentrate on those employees engaged with labelling and shipping out parcels.

“He saw the defendant enter work around half an hour before he was due to start his shift.

“He then saw him picking out two delivery boxes. Each box would have contained around a couple of hundred pound worth of stock.

“The goods weren’t scanned however the defendant did go to the scanning area and pretend to scan.

“He put the boxes into one of the mail bags. He then fastened the mail bag, which wasn’t full.”

The witness then contacted the police.

Mrs Turnbull told the court Smith has no previous convictions and fully admitted the offence when interviewed.

Ian Brickman, mitigating said he believes other staff at Mainline are engaging in similar activities.

He said; “The offence related to a period between February and September. That is relevant because the complainants statement does refer to concerns that stock had been going missing over a couple of years.

“It does appear there are other members of staff involved.

“He accepts that the goods he had sent out to other people had been substantially under valued. There is a significant mark up on designer goods.

“Whatever the figure the breach of trust is still there.

“He had developed a gambling problem, that was the route cause of this offending.

“Since this has happened he as sought assistance to address the problem, to his credit.

“It wasn’t a sophisticated operation and wasn’t fully thought through as a long term operation.

“He is not viewed as someone who is likely to re offend.”

After hearing the evidence magistrates sentenced Smith to a 12 month community order with supervision and 300 hours unpaid work.

He was also ordered to pay £5,000 compensation to Mainline Menswear, which alongside the Eastfield warehouse has a shop in Huntriss Row.