Colchester car salesman told to do 240 hours unpaid work for stealing more than £5,000 from employers Lancaster Mercedes

Ipswich Crown Court

Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Archant

A car salesman who admitted stealing more than £5,000 from his employer has been sentenced to 240 hours unpaid work.

Graham Mays, who worked for Lancaster Mercedes in Ipswich, was also told by Judge David Goodin to pay £776 compensation.

Mays, from Alan Way in Colchester, pleaded guilty at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court in October to taking various items from cars between August 1, 2012 and June 30, 2014.

Today prosecutor Catherine Bradshaw told the Ipswich Crown Court part of Mays’ job as a senior sales executive was to collect cars from customers involved in part exchange deals and return them to the dealership.

She said while doing this he would take items with a relatively low value left in the car by the owner and then sell them on eBay.

Over the period of time Mays was doing this the value of the items sold amounted to £5,276.12.

Bluetooth cradles and SatNav devices were amongst the items taken by the 53-year-old.

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Mitigating, Stephen Spence said the cars Mays collected were several years old and would have been auctioned off by his employers to other businesses rather than sold as approved used vehicles, and the items taken would have made little difference to the cars’ values had they remained.

Mr Spence also said Mays was no longer employed by Lancaster Mercedes, which had withheld £4,500 of salary owed to him, and he was of previous good character. The court was also told Mays did not believe he was the only employee who had acted in such a way.

Sentencing Mays Judge Goodin said: “I can see how institutionalised dishonesty of this nature can become accepted, even endemic in circumstances where there is no obvious loss your employer who wouldn’t otherwise be making a profit from them.

“It remains the case of course, as you know, that actually they do not belong to you, they belong to your employer.”

However he added he did not feel this case crossed the custody threshold and sentenced Mays to a 12-month community order of 240 hours unpaid work.

Mays was also ordered to pay £776 compensation, taking into account the salary withheld by Lancaster Mercedes, and £425 costs to be paid withing 56 days.