'I was an idiot' - Worker admits stealing fishing equipment worth £3,700

Angling Direct on Aylsham Road.Byline: Sonya DuncanCopyright: Archant 2017

Robert Wood stole while working for Angling Direct which has a branch in Norwich - Credit: Sonya Duncan

A worker attempted to steal fishing equipment worth more than £3,000 after fraudulently accessing gift cards, a court heard.

Robert Wood,  30, was working at Angling Direct, a fishing tackle retailer, when he used the computer system to access gift cards, which he then used to buy fishing tackle, Norwich Crown Court heard on Friday.

Simon Connolly, prosecuting, said Wood had items sent to three different addresses rather than to his own home and used alias names for the gift cards.

Mr Connolly said that in total £3,743 worth of equipment was ordered, but before the orders were dispatched, the thefts were uncovered by management which meant only £2,435 worth of equipment was actually taken.

Mr Connolly said items were recovered from Wood's address and also equipment which he had sold for £400 to a buyer.

Mr Connolly said that although items were recovered he said they were not in the required condition for resale so the loss to the company was £2,435.

The private buyer was also £400 out of pocket as items he purchased were also returned.

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Mr Connolly said Wood was interviewed by police and said it was a "stupid, opportunistic" offence.

Mr Connolly said: "It was not a particularly sophisticated offence."

Wood of Cranage Road, Norwich, admitted theft by an employee and fraud.

Wood who represented himself in court said: "I know what I did was wrong. I was an idiot."

He said he was not a bad person and said: "I did the crime.  I have to take the punishment."

Judge Andrew Shaw jailed Wood for four months suspended for 12 months and ordered him to do 80 hours unpaid work.

He told Wood: "It is very serious when employees steal from their employer. It is compounded when you try to sell items that you have stolen to other people."

He said that people had lost money as a result of what he had done and said: "I cannot make any order for cash or compensation. I don't think you can afford it. "

However he accepted that Wood was genuinely full of remorse and told him: "I don't want to see you again."

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