Care­taker stole from city col­lege

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - News - By KEN MCER­LAIN ken.mcer­lain@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk @Etken­m­cer­lain

ITEMS worth up to £3,500 were stolen from a col­lege in Peter­bor­ough by a care­taker who was caught af­ter try­ing to sell some of the goods on a web­site.

James Smith (53) of Coney­gree Road, Peter­bor­ough, stole a va­ri­ety of elec­tri­cal and cater­ing items from City Col­lege Peter­bor­ough be­tween De­cem­ber 2009 and Jan­uary this year.

Among the pil­fered goods were pro­jec­tors, ice cream mak­ers, cam­eras, mu­si­cal in­stru­ments and in­ter­net don­gles.

Smith was caught af­ter telling a mem­ber of staff about a rare coin which he was try­ing to sell on the web­site ebay.

The col­league wanted to see pic­tures and ac­cessed Smith’s ebay ac­count.

But while he browsed the site he no­ticed that Smith was sell­ing other items in­clud­ing an NEC pro­jec­tor, which he recog­nised as a de­vice that had gone miss­ing from a col­lege class­room.

Other items that had been listed on Smith’s ebay ac­count in­cluded mix­ers, in­stru­ments, cam­eras and don­gles which be­longed to the col­lege.

Smith was in­ter­viewed by col­lege heads and ini­tially de­nied the of­fences.

How­ever, a po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion traced a mo­bile don­gle which had been sold through Smith’s ac­count and the se­rial num­ber matched that of a don­gle miss­ing from the col­lege.

(METP-12-05-12DL131)

Smith, who had worked at the col­lege since 2009 but has since been sacked, ap­peared at Peter­bor­ough Mag­is­trates’ Court and pleaded guilty to theft by an em­ployee.

Pros­e­cu­tor Anthea Har­ris said the ex­act value of the goods stolen was un­known but likely to be be­tween £2,000 and £3,500.

Ms Har­ris claimed that Smith started steal­ing the goods be­cause other care­tak­ers at the col­lege did the same - claims which the col­lege stren­u­ously de­scribed as “com­pletely un­founded”.

Ms Har­ris said: “He did it to fund his life­style be­cause he didn’t earn much.

“He knew it was dis­hon­est. It was over a lengthy pe­riod of time and there was clearly a breach of trust.”

A spokesper­son for City Col­lege Peter­bor­ough said: “We take mat­ters of this na­ture very se­ri­ously.

“As soon as the sit­u­a­tion was brought to our at­ten­tion, Mr Smith was sus­pended im­me­di­ately and an in­ves­ti­ga­tion took place. Mr Smith no longer works for the Col­lege.”

POLE PO­SI­TION: Steve Cooke from Garb­dino and an­gler Steve Hart Look­ing at an­gling poles.

TAR­GET: City Col­lege Peter­bor­ough.

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