Man walks free after paying back cash
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.