Stole more than £10,000 from employers


A man who stole more than £10,000 from his employers to fund his gambling habit has received a suspended sentence.

Jason Craig, a former store manager of DFS Furniture Company Ltd., at Crescent Link, pleaded guilty to the theft of £10,402.79.

The 42-year-old, of Craigbrack Road, Eglinton, also admitted fraud by abuse of position.

The offences were committed between June 1, 2013 and June 23, 2014.

Derry Crown Court heard that Craig sent an email to the company’s chief operations manager tendering his resignation. He then outlined how he had stolen more than £10,000 from them over the course of a year.

Craig stole the money by altering customer records, manipulating stock records and raiding the petty cash.

The court was told the offending started as a result of work related stress and to feed Craig’s gambling addiction.

Defence counsel Steven Mooney described the email sent by the 42-year-old as a ‘confession brought about by his guilt’.

He added that, before Craig sent the email, ‘no criminality was suspected’.

Mr Mooney said his client was ‘shameful and remorseful’ about taking the money and fully intended to make restitution to DFS.

The barrister also told the court Craig was due to start another job next week and was committed to continue with counselling for his gambling addiction.

Passing sentence, Judge Donna McColgan said the 42-year-old was a ‘trusted’ employee. However, she said it was ‘doubtful’ if the offences would have come to light if he hadn’t brought them to the attention of the authorities himself.

The judge said Craig had lost his job and ‘his family will suffer as a result of this’.

She added that the 42-year-old had also ‘lost the respect of former colleagues, friends and family’ as a result of his offending.

Judge McColgan suspended a 12 month sentence for three years ‘in view of the peculiar circumstances of the case’.

She declined to impose a compensation order, saying it would “create additional difficulties for the defendant’s family over and above what they are already experiencing”.