Lincoln gambler diverted thousands from employer into girlfriend’s bank account, court hears

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A gambler diverted thousands of pounds from his employer into his girlfriend’s bank account, Lincoln Crown Court was told.

Sean Cann felt his contribution to the success of the firm was not being fully recognised despite being offered a stake in the ownership of the company.

Brian Outhwaite, prosecuting, said that Cann completed a contract for his employer, HCG Heating Construction Ltd, but gave the customer the bank details of his partner for payment.

As a result the £8,000 that was due was not received by the company. Cann carried out two further contracts which he also diverted in the same way to his partner’s account. The court heard she had no knowledge of what was happening.

Cann also stayed in Premier Hotels around the country charging the bills to his employers without permission.

Mr Outhwaite said the overnight stays in hotels at places such as Chester, Leeds, Sheffield and Taunton cost the company £1,200.

Mr Outhwaite added: “When he was arrested he said he had a severe gambling habit costing him £300 a month and that was what had driven these offences.”

Sean Cann, 31, of Newland Street West, Lincoln, pleaded guilty to two charges of fraud on dates between February 2014 and March 2016.

He was given a 12 month jail sentence suspended for 18 months with 200 hours of unpaid work and a rehabilitation activity requirement of up to 15 days. He was also ordered to pay £11,041 compensation to HCG Heating Construction.

Recorder Julie Warburton, passing sentence, told him: “Your employer trusted you and you have repaid them by stealing from them.”

Sunil Khanna, in mitigation, said Cann, who has no previous convictions, joined the company at a very junior level and during his time with them he introduced improvements which made the firm more efficient.

He said Cann was under stress after he and his partner discovered that the baby they were expecting was likely to have major health problems.

Mr Khanna said: “He felt there was nothing to look forward to and at that stage his gambling got worse.

“He can only apologise for his actions. He wants to pay the money back.”

He told the court that the baby was born in May but remained in hospital for the first eight weeks of her life due to her health.

Cann has since set up his own company which has built up “a decent turnover” over the last six months, said Mr Khanna.