Man walks free af­ter pay­ing back cash

The Oban Times - - NEWS -

A FOR­MER fish­ing ex­ec­u­tive who em­bez­zled more than £1,000 from his Lochaber em­ployer has been ad­mon­ished.

Fort Wil­liam Sher­iff Court last week heard John Hermse from Ar­gus Lodge, Wards Road, El­gin, has paid back the £1,116.09 which be­longed to the Mal­laig and North West Fish­er­man’s As­so­ci­a­tion (MNFWA).

Dur­ing his em­ploy­ment with the as­so­ci­a­tion, Hermse had en­joyed ac­cess to a com­pany credit card to use for his own ex­penses, in­clud­ing travel costs to help carry out his day to day tasks.

The wrong­do­ing in ques­tion took place be­tween April 29 2010 to Oc­to­ber 5 2013 when Hermse used the com­pany card to make two per­sonal trans­ac­tions.

The 59-year- old had pre­vi­ously pleaded not guilty to em­bez­zling around £7,000 but ad­mit­ted theft of the lesser amount in Au­gust this year.

Sher­iff Sukhwinder Gill presided over the case in Au­gust and told Hermse if the money is re­paid there may be no fur­ther ac­tion, adding: ‘I am leav­ing the mat­ter in your hands.’

This in­for­ma­tion was passed on to Sher­iff Wil­liam Tay­lor on Novem­ber 8 by solic­i­tor Hamish Mel­rose. The Sher­iff said he had no rea­son to de­part from the ear­lier view and that as Mel­rose was an of­fi­cer of the court the mes­sage was ‘good enough for him’.

It is how­ever, un­der­stood that the Crown may pur­sue a pro­ceeds of crime act against Hermse.

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