Stole cash from his neighbours

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A MAN stole £900 from neighbours who trusted him with money intended to pay for maintenance of the flats they all lived in, a court heard.

Trevor Laird, 39, admitted cashing four cheques between September 2008 and April 2011, from the Dale Road Buxton Management Company Limited which has been set up by the residents, when he appeared before High Peak Magistrates on Monday.

The residents each paid money into the account on a monthly basis to pay ongoing maintenance of the building.

But Laird, secretary of the company, admitted taking £200 from the account on September 15 2008, £300 on September 26 2010, £150 on November 5 2010 and £250 on April 1 2011.

Becky Mahon, prosecuting, said the theft came to light when one of the residents left and the paperwork was handed over.

Laird told police he had cashed one cheque to pay a credit card debt.

James Riley, defending, said “The defendant got himself into debt and didn’t deal with it in the right way.

“It was a foolish, stupid act, there was no sophistication. It was an act of a desperate man in desperate times.”

The court heard that Laird believed he would be able to pay back the money he had taken and had not wanted to worry his now ex-wife as they were going through a difficult time.

Magistrate Neil Broadbent said: “These are serious matters of theft because of the nature of them and the length of time in which they were carried out.”

Laird, now living at The Tynings, Westbury, Wiltshire, was given a 12 month community order and must complete 80 hours’ unpaid work.

He must also pay back the £900 he stole. No order was made for costs.