Refund loophole costs B&Q £10k

Published:  15 February, 2011

LIVERPOOL: A former soldier exploited a loophole in B&Q's refund policy to steal over £10 000 a court in Liverpool heard.

During the 15-month fraud, Leo Gavan, 30, travelled across the UK returning items, which had been stolen, from other B&Q stores.

Liverpool Crown Court heard Mr Gavan would then receive a credit note for the stolen items, which he would put towards buying a more expensive item. He then returned the high-priced item for a refund.

After his arrest Mr Gavan, of Western Avenue, Huyton, said he had managed to "get by" using the scam and estimated he had made about £10 000 from it.

Judge David Harris QC told Mr Gavan the loss to the store must have been significantly higher.

But after "careful consideration" the judge suspended a 48-week jail sentence for two years after reading a reference from a former corporal speaking of the ex-soldier's bravery while serving his country in Iraq.

The judge ordered Mr Gavan to carry out 225 hours of unpaid work and subjected him to a three-month, monitored curfew.

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