A NORTH Wales furniture company received an anonymous tip-off that one of their upholsterers was building his own furniture at home – in the garage.
When challenged Gareth Vaughan Thomas admitted stealing fabrics and other items from his employers.
Thomas (47) of Nant y Grow at Gronant, was said to have fallen to temptation when over time working was stopped and he had come to rely on the extra money to support his family.
Flintshire magistrates’ court at Mold on Monday heard how property to the value of £1,700 had been recovered from the garage.
But the employers, Westbridge Furniture, was unable to quantity the total loss.
Thomas was fined £350 with £120 costs but he was not ordered to pay any compensation.
Matthew Ellis, prosecuting, said that the defendant had been employed by the company for ten years.
On June 3, the company’s human resources manager received an anonymous call to say that the defendant was carrying out upholstery work in his garage.
He admitted taking items home to allow him to make furniture at home to sell.
The defendant took the manager and a witness to his garage to show them how he was doing.
He said that he was suffering financially after overtime had dried up.
Interviewed, he said that he had made and sold two items before he was caught.
Gareth Parry, defending, said that his client was not going to a luxury life-style but simply to support his family when he found himself in financial difficulties.
His client had co-operated and fully accepted what he had done.
But he did not accept that he had stolen the tools found at the garage.
The tools, valued at about £250, would be taken home and returned to work and he had no intention of permanently depriving his employers of them.
His client was a well respected upholsterer who had worked for the company and it s predecessors for 18 years.
He had since obtained a new job.