Electrical firm branch manager stole children’s hospice charity cash

Burnley Magistrates Court.
Burnley Magistrates Court.

An electrical firm’s branch manager stole around £5,000, including charity cash meant for seriously ill children, from his bosses, a court heard.

Matthew James Taylor (34) who claimed he was hard-up after a messy divorce, pocketed the £240 proceeds of a raffle held to raise funds for Derian House Children’s Hospice. It was one of a catalogue of thefts committed during a four-month campaign of dishonesty targeting LED Electrical Ltd, which has premises in Nelson and Haslingden.

Taylor, of Lowerhouse Lane, Burnley, was given 18 weeks in jail, suspended for a year, with 160 hours unpaid work. He must pay £1,200 compensation.

Burnley magistrates were told how Taylor, said to have initially tried to blame another worker for the missing money, owned up to pocketing the raffle cash when he was confronted over the crimes.

The defendant, who is about to become a father, admitted eight counts of theft and one of false accounting, between June and October last year.

Mrs Enza Geldard (prosecuting) said Taylor started working for LED in November 2009 and was promoted to branch manager at Haslingden, last year.

Bosses later became suspicious over financial discrepancies. Last October, Taylor was off sick, but had entered the premises out of work hours, without any legitimate reason.

Mr David Lawson (defending) said he was thoroughly ashamed and embarrassed by what he had done and his family were of the same mind. He recognised he had to be punished.

He had been in severe financial difficulties and acted irrationally under pressure.