Chapel man in court after stealing £2,000 from employer

High Peak Magistrates' Court
High Peak Magistrates' Court

A Chapel-en-le-Frith man stole from his employer over a period of a few months because of financial struggles, a court heard.

Stephen Ashton, 29, was working at e-cigarette supplier Smokey Joes for Gary Hall, who is his partner’s stepfather.

High Peak Magistrates’ Court heard how Ashton, of Frith View, admitted taking £2,210 from his employer between December 1 last year and February 19.

Jennifer Fitzgerald, prosecuting, said: “Sales should have been recorded in a diary, but what happened is that over time as the sales were taking place the defendant simply failed to record these and pocketed the cash for himself.”

The missing funds were discovered following a stock check when the total amount taken was put at £2,210, the court heard. A sum of £200 was paid back immediately.

Ms Fitzgerald said Ashton tried to minimise the amount taken when interviewed, stating at first it was about £600 to £700, but then that it may have been more like £1,000.

Annis Rowlands, defending, said Ashton, had started taking the cash in the run-up to Christmas as he was under money pressures, and had always intended to pay it back.

She told the court there was some discrepancy over the amount stolen, as some people had “items on tick” and that the book keeping procedures were “somewhat haphazard”.

The court was told that Ashton had expressed remorse for his actions and the stress he had put on his family. He has since obtained other employment in a factory and had disclosed the offence to them.

Ashton was given a 12-month community order with a rehabilitation activity requirement and a 12-week curfew between the hours of 11pm and 5am during the week and from 6pm to 5am at weekends, to allow him to continue his shift work.

He was ordered to pay £2,010 compensation, £85 costs and a £60 government surcharge.