Caretaker stole from city college
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.
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.