A "SHY and timid" man swindled his employer out of almost £14,000 in an effort to bail himself out of his own money problems.

Daniel Fearon had been working at Antifriction Components Ltd for four years when he was caught making false refunds.

The company was alerted by payment processing firm Worldpay to a number of transactions that "looked suspicious or fraudulent", Cardiff Crown Court was told on Monday.

An investigation found the refunds were not accounted for nor seen on the company's own cards, said Kathryn Lane, prosecuting.

Two cards linked to the defendant were found to have been used for unauthorised refunds.

Fearon took the money by using a Worldpay machine to enter false refund codes, the court was told.

The 33-year-old took sums ranging from £270 to £4,500 at a time, in a period between July and October 2019.

In total, he defrauded his employer out of £13,948.78 while working at the Cwmbran branch of Antifriction Components Ltd. His employment there has since been terminated.

Fearon, of Central Drive, Trevethin, Pontypool, admitted at an earlier court appearance one charge of committing fraud by abuse of position.

The court was told he had no previous convictions and was "deeply ashamed" of his actions.


Laurence Jones, defending, said Fearon had been "overwhelmed with his debts" and his offending was also linked to his "mental health problems".

"He had a constructive life – he had a stable life until he hit financial problems," the court was told.

Mr Jones described the defendant as "shy and timid" and a "well-liked" man who "kept his difficulties to himself".

"The remorse he expresses is clearly genuine," he added.

The judge, Recorder Sean Bradley, noted references from Fearon's wife and father-in-law, which "vouch for [his] good character".

He accepted Fearon's remorse was "genuine" and said there had been a "very significant amount of time" since the offence was committed.

He sentenced Fearon to eight months in prison, suspended for 18 months.

Fearon must also complete six days of rehabilitation activity, carry out 200 hours of unpaid work, and pay court costs totalling £399.

"I very much hope and expect this is the last time I see you in court," the judge told the defendant.