Chepstow man jailed for metal thefts
10:00am Thursday 11th October 2012 in News
AN EMPLOYEE of a bucket manufacturing company stole metal from his firm worth up to £21,000.
Phillip Pearce, 32, of Hollins Close, Chepstow, was jailed for six months when he appeared at Newport Crown Court after pleading guilty to 17 counts of theft from the Bucket Manufacturing Company Ltd in Bulwark, Chepstow.
The court heard Pearce, who had worked at the firm for nine years, stole metal, which included scrap metal as well as other parts, over a six-month period which he then sold on at a scrapyard in Lydney.
Although Pearce received a total of £5,792 as scrap value when he sold the metal on, his former manager at the company, Wayne Ridings, said the estimated maximum loss was £21,528.
Prosecuting, Lawrence Jones said Pearce had worked his way up to a supervisory role at the firm and became a keyholder giving him access to the storage area 24 hours a day.
Between December 3 last year and June 13 this year, on 17 occasions Pearce stole metal fromthe firm, using a hired van during closing hours, which he then sold on at Bendall’s scrap yard in Lydney.
Staff at Bendall’s originally believed the deliveries were genuine but later raised suspicion and Pearce was arrested on June 13 to which his reply was: “You got me.”
He said he was in financial difficulty and had needed to steal on one more occasion to get spending money for a holiday in Turkey which he was due to go on with his son.
Pearce left the company following his arrest.
Representing Pearce, Matthew Waters said the defendant was “ashamed and regretful” of his actions.
He said: “The offences were not carried out in order to maintain an extravagant lifestyle.”
Judge David Wynn Morgan said: “You stole that money from someone who trusted you and someone who had employed you in excellent employment for nine years. Let there be no mistake, this is a very wicked offence.”
A Proceeds of Crime Act hearing is due to be heard on January 3.