employee who stole £195,000

Robert Wilson
Robert Wilson

A man who carried out a ‘breathtaking theft’ of nearly £200,000 from his employer to pay for his drink and drugs habit over a five year period has been jailed for two years.

Robert Wilson (33) of Bronze Street, March, worked as the accounts manager at S and W Engineering in March between February 2007 and September 2012 - and stole a total of £195,719.53 from the small family firm.

Friday he appeared at Peterborough Crown Court where Recorder John Bate-Williams jailed him for two years for one count of theft.

Recorder John Bate-Williams said: “I am told you realise you have done something truly awful, and that is correct.

“The level of your dishonesty and greed can only be described as breathtaking.”

Speaking after the sentence, owner of S and W Engineering Graham Whyles said he was ‘disappointed with the leniency of the jail term.’

Cheryl Williams, prosecuting, said: “He had worked as an accounts assistant with S and W before, but left in 2005. He rejoined in 2007 to work as accounts manager.”

Miss Williams said suspicions were aroused about Wilson’s behaviour when the quality of his work deteriorated in 2012, and he was found asleep at his desk.

He also made a mistake which cost the firm ‘a substantial amount of money,’ and he received a warning from his bosses.

His father, who also worked for the firm, handed in a medical notice in September saying Wilson was depressed and stressed, and had to take time off work.

His temporary replacement then uncovered the history of thefts, which saw Wilson make about 140 payments into his own account.

Calvin Jackson, defending, said Wilson, a father of two, had been an ‘upstanding member of society before the theft.

In police interview Wilson said he had spent all the money, and Mr Jackson, referring to his addiction problems, said he had ‘consumed all the money, or it went up his nose.’

Mr Whyles said: “The sentence is rather lenient.

“The breach of trust was very hard to swallow. In a small family firm like this you expect people to work like a family. He stole from his colleagues, who included his own father at the time.”

Detective Sergeant Matt Swash said: “This was a huge breach of trust placed on someone who was supposed to be safeguarding the financial interests of the company.

“Wilson tried to hamper the investigation by refusing access to his accounts, but we showed he dishonestly abused his position for his own gain.

“It was a complex investigation involving careful analysis of years’ worth of financial transactions to allow justice to be done.”