B&Q manager guilty of theft

Published:  15 November, 2010

TRURO: Nicholas Mead, a former manager of B&Q at Penryn, near Falmouth, was convicted of two counts of theft but cleared of four counts of fraudulently making cash refunds totalling £59 796 in June 2007.

After an eight-day trial at Truro Crown Court, Judge Christopher Elwen sentenced Mr Mead who had no previous convictions, to 30 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months.

Judge Elwen told him: "Theft or any breach of trust is something which the courts treat seriously. You chose to go to trial so there is no discount for a plea.

"On the plus side, there is no question of suspicion being deliberately thrown on to others or that you acted out of revenge."

Judge Elwen also ordered him to carry out 140-hours of unpaid work and to pay B&Q £543 in compensation. No order was made for costs or recovery of defence costs.

During the trial the Crown had argued Mr Mead had stolen a total of about £61 000 by giving refunds to bogus customers in order to spend the money on "high living" with a trip to New York and new cars.

The court heard that B&Q had a policy of allowing refunds if customers produced the original till receipt and that the manager had the power to authorise a refund without such a receipt.

When giving evidence, Mr Mead told the jury he had given refunds to genuine customers and that customer satisfaction had been his top priority.

After the allegations came to light Mr Mead was suspended from his £23 690-a-year job on June 28, 2007. He resigned from the position in the August and was arrested on 14 November 2007.

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