Gainsborough
March 22, 2021 5.12 pm

Manager avoids jail after spending £25k on company credit cards

He was getting “a buzz” from it

A manager used company credit cards to purchase more than £25,000 worth of items for himself, Lincoln Crown Court was told.

Philip Birkett, who worked for the Gainsborough-based company AMP Rose, was described as getting “a buzz” from using the cards to buy items from Amazon and other companies.

He concealed the purchases so that they did not show up in the company’s financial records, but was eventually caught out in 2018.

Noel Philo, prosecuting, said Birkett was employed as the company’s IT manager but took over the responsibilities of the purchasing manager in 2015 which allowed him access to the company credit cards.

Mr Philo said: “Starting in about September 2015 and continuing from then until May 2018 he utilised the company’s various credit cards for purchasing for his own purpose.

“That was a very serious fraud on the company for a sustained period of time and from a position of very great trust.

“He arranged it so that as far as it was possible what he had done would not be able to show up in the company’s accounts. It was only in 2018 that the company realised what had been going on. He was utilising his position to defraud his employer.”

Birkett confessed when he was spoken to by senior staff and went on to admit what he had done when he was interviewed by police.

Birkett, 38, of Amcott Avenue, Misterton, Nottinghamshire, admitted a charge of fraud involving £27,057. He was given an eight month jail sentence suspended for 18 months with a four month, electronically monitored, night-time curfew.

Under the Proceeds of Crime Act legislation he was ruled to have benefitted from his crime by £27,057 but the court was told he had no available assets and a nominal confiscation order of £1 was made.

Judge John Pini QC, passing sentence, told him: “You have escaped immediate custody by the skin of your teeth.”

Leanne Summers, in mitigation, said that Birkett had no previous convictions and she described his past conduct as “exemplary”.

Miss Summers said: “This offending became something of an addiction for him. He was suffering poor emotional wellbeing which was later diagnosed as depression. He was using this offending as a means of feeling better. It escalated and continued.”

She said that after a period of unemployment Birkett has set up his own gardening company and is now self-employed.

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