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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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Assistant boss stole stock from Carlisle shop to sell on eBay

The assistant manager of an outdoors equipment shop in Carlisle admitted stealing stock so he could sell it on the online eBay auction site.

Martin Riley, 32, admitted stealing cash and goods worth £1,386 from the Cotswold shop in English Street between January and July of this year.

Formerly a man of good character, Riley, of East Crescent, Aspatria, told magistrates that he has now moved back in with his parents while he sorts out his life.

After entering his guilty plea, he said of his crime: “They were the acts of a fool.

“Moving back to my parents has been a stark lesson, and I now know that I can’t afford to live beyond my means any more.

“I’m seeking help.”

Adrienne Harris, prosecuting, said the defendant’s court appearance yesterday was his first and so represented a sad day in his life.

She said Riley had worked as assistant manager at the Carlisle store since May of last year.

His crime came to light last month when the manager noticed that a pair of Oakley sunglasses disappeared from a display cabinet.

“Only staff had access to the cabinet key,” said Miss Harris.

“But no member of staff appeared to know anything about it but checks showed the glasses had not been sold.”

The manager later found an office computer was logged in, revealing it was left open on the eBay account of the defendant, which showed he was using the website to sell the stolen glasses.

When confronted, Riley admitted taking the sunglasses, and taking £130 cash from the shop’s petty cash.

He went on to admit taking and selling other items of stock from the shop, including a tent, sold on eBay for £140; a jacket, sold for £100; and a sleeping bag.

He also said he had taken around £200 from the shop’s safe, and said that he felt ashamed of his actions.

“He said he had debts of approximately £5,000, having racked that amount up on credit cards in living beyond his means,” continued the prosecutor.

“He said his habit of buying and spending had got out of hand but he desperately wanted to pay back Cotswold.”

The total amount missing from the shop was over £3,000 but the business had recouped some of that from his wages, added Miss Harris.

Magistrates imposed a one-year community order, and ordered Riley to co 60 hours of unpaid work in the community.

He must also pay court costs of £85 and pay compensation totalling £1,386 to Cotswold.

 

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