Thieving shop manager wasted second chance

PUBLISHED: 11:33 26 January 2006 | UPDATED: 09:30 06 May 2010

THE temptation to put his thieving fingers into the till again proved too much for Andrew Byrne. Even though his new employers knew that he had stolen while in a previous job, they gave him a chance at running some of their supermarkets. But over a 16-mon

THE temptation to put his thieving fingers into the till again proved too much for Andrew Byrne.

Even though his new employers knew that he had stolen while in a previous job, they gave him a chance at running some of their supermarkets.

But over a 16-month period he stole more than £3,000 from them. A judge said it was "remarkable" that he had not taken advantage of the chance that had been given him.

Byrne, 33, from Bunyan Road, Biggleswade, was jailed for six months at Luton Crown Court on Friday.

He had pleaded guilty to 29 charges of theft between October 2003 and January 2005 totalling £3,117.

Simon Thomas, prosecuting, said Fullcross Management Ltd employed Byrne in 2003 to manage three of their Spar shops in Biggleswade, Flitwick and Milton Keynes.

He had to declare his previous conviction as he was vetted for selling alcohol.

He had been sentenced in October 2001 for theft from Tesco where he was employed on the help desk.

"But they were impressed by him and decided to give him a chance," said Mr Thomas.

Then while working for them he defrauded them by putting non-existent refunds through the tills and pocketing the cash, creating two fictional employees and keeping the wages and inflating the number of hours another member of staff worked.

Many of the refunds would have appeared on the records to have been authorised by other members of staff.

When questioned he claimed money was going missing from Biggleswade and he was afraid suspicion would fall on him because of his history of offending and claimed the refunds were done to cover up the losses.

Razwan Ashiq, defending, said: "He concedes this was a serious breach of trust. He should have learned from his last mistake. He was lucky enough to get another job and has let himself down.

"He is at a loss to explain why he stole. He did not have financial problems but had emotional problems and was very depressed."

Judge Michael Kay QC said: "I can only assume you did this for greed and you involved others in your dishonesty. Custody is the only appropriate sentence.

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