A man with payday loans 'coming out of his ears' diverted company cash into his own bank account, a court heard.
Luke Andrew Parry, 25, was said to be in a desperate position when he created fictitious hours for company clients and paid the money into his own bank account instead.
Parry admitted a £9,000 fraud against his employers Advance Contract Solutions Ltd, of Bretton Hall, Chester Road, Bretton.
At Flintshire magistrates’ court at Mold on Tuesday, December 15, he was told that it was a serious breach of trust and a prison sentence was justified.
But Parry, who had never been in any trouble before, received a 26-week prison sentence suspended for 18 months.
He was ordered to carry out 260 hours of unpaid work and must observe a 12-week tagged curfew to ensure he remains indoors between 8pm and 6am.
District Judge Gwyn Jones ordered him to pay £5,000 compensation, but said the company could take civil proceedings to reclaim the remainder.
Parry, who lived in a flat at Mill Lane in Chester at the time but now lives with his grandparents at Bembridge in Brookside, Telford, was also ordered to pay an £80 surcharge and a £180 criminal courts charge.
Prosecutor Rhian Jackson said the company provided payroll services for clients, and one of them complained that he had received a tax notice telling him he had received more money than he actually had done.
An investigation was carried out and it was found that time sheets had been amended to make it look as if he had worked extra hours – but the money had been paid into Parry’s account.
A meeting was held with the defendant in October when Parry, a team leader in the payroll department, agreed that he had used the details of two clients to pay money to himself on a dozen occasions.
The total fraud amounted to £9,003, said Mrs Jackson.
Arrested and interviewed, Parry was remorseful and said he was in financial hardship and had been struggling to make ends meet.
He said he had got into 'bad habits' with alcohol and drugs, which was where a lot of the money had gone.
Gary Harvey, defending, said his client was a single man of good character who had been living alone and had payday loans he could not afford. He also had county court judgements against him.
“He is mortified at what he has done and at the prospect of going to prison,” said Mr Harvey.
Probation officer Andrew Connah said that, at the time, the defendant had been living an isolated life alone in Chester, and had begun to drink too much and use cocaine at weekends. He got himself into a deep financial hole and now had debts of £3,500.
The court heard Parry had reduced his alcohol intake substantially, no longer took drugs, and had moved in with his elderly grandparents. He was seeking new employment but was currently on benefits, and was said to be very remorseful for what he had done.
The judge said Parry was in a managerial position and had breached the trust and responsibility placed in him, but had no previous convictions, had attended the police voluntarily, entered a timely guilty plea, was now unemployed and had no assets.