Delivery driver pocketed £700 payment for summer house

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A delivery driver found guilty of pocketing a £700 cash payment for a summer house was ordered to do 120 hours unpaid work by magistrates on Thursday.

Ugis Gustavsons (40) had worked for Long Sutton firm Hallgate Timber for two years when he was asked to make the delivery to an address in Sleaford on March 14 last year.

Priya Bakshi, prosecuting, said Gustavsons took the cash from the customer, returned to the depot but didn’t hand over the money to senior staff.

Instead “he left the scene in an unknown vehicle and didn’t turn up for work the following day”.

Miss Bakshi said the company made arrangements to visit Gustavsons, but he still didn’t hand over the money.

Gustavsons, of Pipe Office Lane, Boston, pleaded not guilty to theft, but the case was found proved after a trial.

Gustavsons maintained at his trial that he had lost the £700 and had tried to take out a loan to repay it.

He said at the resumed hearing he accepted the court’s verdict, but told the bench: “I didn’t steal the money.”

The court heard the company had deducted some of Gustavsons’ wages towards the cost of the summer house, but there was a balance of £388 outstanding.

He was ordered to pay the £388 compensation, court costs of £500 and a £60 victim surcharge.

The 120 hours unpaid work will be carried out during a nine-month community order.

Probation officer Angela Jones told the court: “This offence took place in March of last year, some nine months ago, and there has been nothing new since and that would indicate there is a low risk of him re-offending.”