Pocketed cash from B&Q customers

B&Q Ballymena which is due to close at the end of 2016. INBT 41-113JC
B&Q Ballymena which is due to close at the end of 2016. INBT 41-113JC

A Lurgan man offered customers at B&Q a discount if they paid in cash and then he pocketed the money.

Christopher Haddock (32), Victoria Gardens, Lurgan, admitted a series of offences while working at the store. He pleaded guilty to the theft of various goods, valued at £1,730, on March 14 this year, fraud by accepting payment from customers and keeping the money on March 11 and between December 1, 2014, and March 15, 2014, stealing six drills, five packets of grout and other items to the value of £1,006.77.

On March 14 this year police were tasked to B&Q after a report that a member of staff had removed goods without paying for them. Haddock had put several boxes of flooring in his car without paying for them.

He had also been offering customers a reduced price if they paid in cash and he did not put the items through the check out. Haddock had put items for sale on Gumtree and while some goods were returned to B&Q there was still £836.25 worth outstanding.

A solicitor representing Haddock handed in letters from a local MLA and the chairman of Gamblers Anonymous.

District Judge, Mr Mervyn Bates, said his main concern was that this was a breach of trust case although the reference from the local politician spoke highly of the defendant.

The solicitor said that the root cause of Haddock’s problem was his addiction to gambling which started out with low bets and then he became addicted to online gaming. Since this he had managed to keep his gambling addiction at bay. Haddock was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered to pay £836.25 compensation.