Manager admits DIY store theft

PUBLISHED: 12:28 12 August 2008 | UPDATED: 16:26 05 May 2010

A MAN has admitted using his position as duty manager at a DIY store to steal money from his employer to pay for a holiday with his ex-girlfriend. Richard Owen, of Christie Road in Stevenage, pleaded guilty to theft when he appeared at the town s magistra

A MAN has admitted using his position as duty manager at a DIY store to steal money from his employer to pay for a holiday with his ex-girlfriend.

Richard Owen, of Christie Road in Stevenage, pleaded guilty to theft when he appeared at the town's magistrates' court last Thursday.

The court heard how the 25-year-old refunded the value of a number of products onto his credit card, claiming they had been returned, while he was a duty manager and design consultant at Homebase Ltd on the Roaring Meg Retail Park in Stevenage.

He did this on three separate occasions, between December 13 last year and May 10, stealing a total of £564.09.

The transactions eventually aroused suspicion and Owen was confronted. He denied the allegations but was asked to leave the store.

He was arrested on July 17 and admitted stealing the money, saying his position as duty manager gave him the authority to refund different amounts onto his credit card.

He said he did it on the first two occasions because his mother was ill and he was trying to look after her, and on the third occasion he did it because he had split up with his long-term girlfriend and had promised her a holiday to win her back but realised he didn't have the money to pay for it.

Owen was given a 12-month community order and ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work in the community as well as repay the money stolen to Homebase and pay £172 court costs.

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