Married dad stole £40k from his bosses and blew it on booze and prostitutes

George Smith a branch manager for a decorating supplies firm swindled the company out of £40,000 and pocketed the money for himself.

A court heard that the 33-year-old father from Cheshire had spent the money on drugs, alcohol and prostitutes.

George stated that he "got himself in a rut" and developed an addiction to the lifestyle.

He worked as a manager and earned £27,000-a-year at the Trafford Park branch of Bromborough Paint.

He admitted he would sell paint to decorators for cash and just pocket the money for himself before making adjustments in the accounts to hide his thieving.

He was handed a 21-month jail sentence.

George would sell paint and wallpaper to decorators for cash and then tamper with the finances to cover up his criminal activity.

His bank statements showed he had made "numerous cash withdrawals" with mass amounts spent on hotels, restaurants and takeaways while they were "no obvious outgoings" such as rent or a mortgage.

Prosecutor Rachel Widdicombe at Manchester Crown Court said that George was "in a senior position with a high degree of trust".

At first, George had been found stealing goods worth £348 in January 2018 but year-by-year the value of his crimes gradually increased to £5,729.

Judge Hilary Manley told George: "You stole over a 16-month period £40,000 from your employers. You were in a position of significant trust, employed as a branch manager on around £27,000 a year which is considerably more than many people around the UK."

She added: "You squandered the money on meals in restaurants, nightclubs and prostitution services. It's all gone."

George's thieving ways had been discovered by his colleague and former friend Giuseppe Alfonso, the firm's finance director.

In a victim impact statement read out to the court, Giuseppe said that staff bonuses had to be slashed "due to the actions of one individual."

He said he had broken down and was left in tears when he realised the scale of the theft.

Giuseppe said: "I personally regarded him as a friend and not just a work colleague. I cannot fathom the level of dishonestly he showed in his actions"

George's defendant Simeon Evans, said George was "thoroughly ashamed" but he pointed to the "break-up of his marriage" around the time of the theft.

Simeon also stated that one of George's sons who had been diagnosed with autism would find it "particularly hard" if his father was sent to prison.

Judge Hilary Manley said "It's no excuse" and repeated that he had spent the money on drink, drugs and prostitution.

George was handed a \ and was immediately sent to serve time.

He admitted one offence of theft at a previous hearing.

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