An employee, with a company specialising in selling luxury items all over the world, who was caught ordering over £20,000 worth of mobile phones for himself has escaped jail with a suspended sentence.
James Eggleston, 32, of Tennyson Road, Ashford, Kent claims bankruptcy and outstanding payday loans were behind the serious breach of trust.
He pleaded guilty at Croydon Crown Court (pictured) to stealing sixty-two phones between May 1, 2011 and February 15, last year from HH Associates Ltd, City House, Sutton Park Road, Sutton.
The court heard Eggleston ordered the phones on the company's account, initially for family and friends, giving some away and then selling each device for around £100.
When confronted by his bosses first-time offender Eggleston immediately confessed to the scam, but was unable to pay any of the money back.
They then reported him to the police and he was arrested.
Eggleston, whose home is in negative equity, obtained advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau concerning his debts and he is now making monthly payments.
Judge Nicholas Ainley told him: “Many people get into terrible financial trouble, but few resort to theft, particularly when there is a breach of trust.
“This was over twenty thousand pounds worth of theft.”
Eggleston was sentenced to sixteen months imprisonment, suspended for two years and was ordered to perform 150 hours community service work.