Ex dustman stole from council to get the sack

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A former council dustman was caught on CCTV when he used a fuel card he stole from a refuse truck to obtain diesel worth more than £420.

Simon Gilbert (32), of Thames Road, Spalding, told police he stole the card because he wanted to lose his job as he could no longer afford to be paid monthly while making maintenance payments to his ex-partner.

Rebecca Ritson, prosecuting, said Gilbert was working with two other refuse collectors on March 27 and, at the end of the shift, the driver reported the fuel card missing from the cab.

On March 30 Gilbert used the card at Whaplode Service Station to obtain diesel worth £98.65.

He went back to the garage twice on April 1 – firstly obtaining fuel worth £87.79 and then £238.32.

Miss Ritson said CCTV footage showed Gilbert putting the diesel into non-council vehicles.

“He said he took the card because he wanted to have his employment with the council terminated,” she told the court.

At a previous hearing, Gilbert pleaded guilty to theft of the card and three counts of fraudulently using the card by false representation.

On Thursday he was given a year-long community order and must do 150 hours unpaid work.

Gilbert was also ordered to pay compensation of £424.76 for the fuel, £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

Solicitor Carrie Simson, mitigating, said Gilbert had been employed with the council for ten years, which was a credit to him, but he wasn’t “thinking straight” at the time of the offence.

He was paying out a large amount of maintenance and felt his ex-partner was leading a frivolous lifestyle.

Mrs Simson said: “The pressure this put on him led him to make the decision ‘I am going to lose my job so I don’t have to pay this maintenance.’

“He tells me, at the time, he was very depressed, he was down, he wasn’t thinking straight. He doesn’t know why he took the course of action that he did. He does come to court with an awful lot of remorse.”

Mrs Simson told the court it was “a strange set of circumstances”.