Car salesman stole money to make his mortgage payments
A CAR salesman of previous good character stole from his employer to pay debts.
Roderick George Sheead, of Upper Cape, Warwick, pocketed £3,750 he had been given by customers in payment for cars, a court heard.
He pleaded guilty to stealing the money, belonging to Santwant Chana, at Ash Green, Bedworth, on August 23.
Sheead had worked for Mr Chana, at Chana Car Centre in Wheelwright Lane, Ash Green, as a car salesman on a self-employed basis since May, said prosecutor Colin Heald.
The money, paid by customers, was for cars.
One payment was for £2,500 – the largest single transaction - and the rest in smaller amounts as deposits.
Mr Heald said Sheead initially claimed he had been paid money by cheque, when he in fact received cash.
He added: “On August 23 the defendant arranged a meeting with his employer and he informed him of his dishonest action. He said he was experiencing financial difficulties.
“He was unable to make mortgage payments. In total £3,750 was taken from the injured party.”
Mr Heald said Sheead had no previous convictions.
Mitigating, solicitor Musla Ahmed said his client, who had mortgage and council tax arrears, previously worked for Barford Car Sales in Warwick before moving to work for Mr Chana.
“To his substantial credit he ceased his activity and confronted Mr Chana, although it took some time – and no doubt some soul searching – and admitted what he had done.”
Mr Ahmed said 57-year-old Sheead had always been employed and had re-paid £1,500 to Mr Chana date.
“Mr Sheead has indicated that his stepson has come in to assist him in re-paying.”
After adjourning the case for a pre-sentence report, Nuneaton magistrates sentenced Sheead to a 12-month community order, with 120 hours of unpaid work, and told him to pay £85 costs.
Sheead told the court: “I am very sorry. We are now selling the house. I am just absolutely stupid to be in this position.”
Presiding magistrate Martyn Lane said the offence was a breach of trust and added: “We have noted that you have brought this matter to the attention of the employer and you owned up to what you had done.
“You have re-paid some of the money and promised to re-pay the rest within 48 hours.
“You have no previous convictions. Until today you were a person of good character.
“We are making no order for compensation because of the voluntary arrangement that is already in place.”
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