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.