'Absolute mug': Northampton father stole thousands of pounds worth of items from employer to look after son

Judge: 'You had a decent job, you were trusted and you threw that away'

Tuesday, 31st August 2021, 3:59 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 9:40 am

A Northampton father was called an 'absolute mug' by a judge after stealing thousands of pounds worth of items from his employer.

Steven King took an estimated £27,600-worth of batteries and locks from Travis Perkins over six months in 2018 while working at its Northampton warehouse.

The 48-year-old, of Hopmeadow Court, Blackthorn, had done so to look after his son and he was having financial issues, Northampton Crown Court heard today (Tuesday, August 31).

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Northampton Crown Court

Recorder Michael Auty QC sentenced King to 18 months in prison, suspended for two years, and 200 hours of unpaid work after he pleaded guilty to theft in June.

"You are an absolute mug. You had a decent job, you were trusted and you threw that away," the judge told him.

"In one sense, you threw it away for reasons perhaps many would understand more than some and that your motivation was to do your level best for your lad.

"Because you didn't, as so many do, spend your ill-gotten gains on a lavish lifestyle for yourself, you spent it on your son.

"However this was a serious breach of trust, an absurd thing to do and a poor lesson for your son."

Travis Perkins had noticed items were going missing from its warehouse in 2018, Lynsey Knott, prosecuting, told the court.

On July 13, that year, the security manager was told King was behind the thefts and was hiding items in his locker.

The defendant initially denied it when confronted but confessed when staff started to search his locker and showed them where to look, finding three batteries in his bag

When interviewed by his employer a few days later, King admitted to taking batteries, padlocks and a gate lock during his six months at the firm.

Micaila Williams, defending, said her client is now in a much more financially stable situation working as a roofer after struggling during 2018 and having to support his son - no further details were given.

"He has had this hanging over him now for some three years and it has helped him to spur him on to sort himself out and get his house in order," she told the court.

After sentencing King, Recorder Auty warned him: "You were very sensible to plead guilty in front of me, you have saved yourself. This is your one chance, you won't get another."