A Sainsbury’s supervisor who stole almost £2,500 from his bosses with a refund trick, flogged expensive goods he obtained on eBay, a court was told.
Thomas Grice (22), who claimed he was in debt due to credit cards and loans, scanned items in the store and put their value on gift cards to avoid getting caught.
He then went shopping with the cards at the supermarket, his list topped with a television and iPad, which he then sold on the auction site.
Burnley magistrates were told how Grice was sacked from Sainsbury’s in Colne for gross misconduct, but admitted if he hadn’t been, said he would have carried on stealing.
The defendant, of Higher Reedley Road, Brierfield, admitted theft of money to the tune of £2,479.09, by employee, on or between December 14th, 2014 and March 18th, this year.
He was given a community order with 200 hours unpaid work and was ordered to pay £85 costs, a £60 victim surcharge and £2,479.09 compensation to Sainsbury’s. He had no previous convictions.
Prosecutor Miss Tracy Yates said Grice had worked for Sainsbury’s for five years and had been a team leader, dealing with refunds.
He was dismissed for gross misconduct on April 1st.
On April 4th, an anomaly was discovered on an iPad transaction and the ID number on the refund was the defendant’s. CCTV showed it was Grice.
The manager was informed, further investigation revealed 22 refunds and footage from four of those showed the defendant scanning goods for their full value and then putting the amount on gift cards.
Miss Yates said Grice was interviewed on April 30th and owned up.
He said he tried it once and after he got away with it, he carried on and bought food and fuel.
The defendant said he then got expensive items to sell on eBay.
She continued: “He said he was glad he was dismissed, as it stopped him doing it.”
She added that Grice said he had not used his staff discount as there would have been more chance of being found out if he had.
He said he regretted what he had done and wanted to repay the money to Sainsbury’s.
Miss Rachel Garnett, for Grice, handed the Bench a letter which he had written, which, she said, explained the circumstances he had found himself in.
She said he had managed to secure full -time employment.
A probation officer who interviewed Grice for a verbal pre-sentence report told the hearing the defendant had started offending to pay off credit card and loan debts. He started off taking small amounts and then began to steal larger amounts.
The officer continued: “He concedes he would have continued to steal had he not been dismissed.”
He added: “This is his first offence. He is assessed as posing a low risk of harm to the public and a low risk of further offending.”