Wickes employee steals from refunds

Published:  24 August, 2011

OXFORD: A Wickes employee stole almost £10 000 from his employers at three shops in Oxfordshire by falsifying refunds. Nicholas Cunningham was working at the Oxford branch of Wickes, in Botley Road, when his deception was uncovered.

The 27-year-old customer services manager stole £1804.42 from the store between April and June this year. He also took £7562.32 from the Banbury branch between May 2009 and October 2010, and £541 from the Bicester store in 2010.

Mr Cunningham was jailed for 16 weeks when he appeared at Oxford Crown Court this week. He had earlier admitted two counts of theft and asked for a third to be taken into consideration.

Prosecutor Nikki Duncan said the defendant, of Neithrop Close, Banbury, was seen on CCTV charging refunds to his own credit card. "There's not been a purchase at all. They [the detectives] haven't found purchases by him using that same credit card. There were no goods either sold or returned."

Jane Malcolm, defending, said her client deeply regretted what he had done. "It was done entirely to pay off loans and debts associated with them.

"He used all the money he stole solely to repay his debt and to stop the debt getting worse."

The court heard that Mr Cunningham had got a job at B&Q in Northampton and had been repaying the stolen money at £200 a month.

Sign Up

For the Builders' Merchants News enewsletter.

In the spotlight


Builders Merchants Vacancies – UK Wide

At Arco, we are an industry specific recruitment consultancy, providing sales and managerial staff Nationwide to Merchants, Distributors and Manufacturers of Building Materials within the Construction Sales Sector. Priding ourselves on our unparalleled customer service and hard work, we offer a fresh, innovative and personal approach to recruitment specifically designed to meet our clients’ needs and candidates’ skills.

Guest Blog by Simon Damp

Is DIY a lost art?

As time goes by, the art of do-it-yourself when it comes to activities around the home and garden is fast becoming more and more of a lost art.