Spalding manager of Bourne store thought stealing stock was ‘a perk of the job’

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THE manager of a builders’ merchants stole a bathroom suite and then tried to cover up his theft by falsifying documents.

Nicholas Franklin removed the items over a 12 month period from the Bourne branch of Jewsons before installing them in his home at Spalding.

Vanessa Marshall, prosecuting at Lincoln Crown Court yesterday, said Franklin stole the items piece by piece over several months loading them into his car when none of his colleagues was around.

Jewsons began an investigation into the branch while searching for unaccounted stock.

Investigators visited Franklin’s home and noted the bathroom floor tiles came from the store.

Further inquiries revealed that although Franklin had paid for some tiles others were not accounted for.

Franklin later confessed to taking the tiles as well as a bathroom suite and an underfloor heating system claiming he thought it was a perk of the job.

Checks showed that some of the items had been “wiped off” the books to make sure the stock balanced.

Franklin (39), of Bourne Road, admitted theft of a bathroom suite worth £5,895 over a 12 month period from February 2011.

He was given a six-month jail sentence suspended for 12 months and 200 hours of unpaid work.

He was also ordered to pay £340 prosecution costs.

Judge Michael Heath told him: “You helped yourself over a 12 month period to a bathroom suite and tried to cover your tracks by cleverly falsifying documents. You saw this as a perk of the job but this was a serious breach of trust.”

Mark Watson, defending, said Franklin was sacked when the theft came to light.

He said: “He is desperately ashamed of his behaviour.

“He has lost his good character and has lost any prospect of getting another job as good as the one he enjoyed at Jewsons.

“This is an enormous fall from grace for this defendant although brought about entirely by himself.”

Mr Watson said that Franklin is now working night shifts in a factory on minimum wage.