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‘Bored’ B&Q worker bought an axe with stolen credit notes

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A FORMER B&Q employee has been sent to prison after stealing money from the company by issuing himself credit notes.

Generic image by Rui Vieira/PA Wire.

Richard John Carrington Le Conte, 27, said he had been bored working on the tills, so had committed the crimes and used the credit notes to buy himself an axe.

He pleaded guilty to abusing his position with the company to get financial benefit for himself.

The Magistrate’s Court heard that Le Conte had started to work for the DIY store in November 2016.

In September 2017, the B&Q fraud department noticed discrepancies with two credit notes, which led to an investigation. Le Conte admitted his guilt to the investigators, stating that he had been bored.

The first incident happened on 26 August, when a customer brought back an item for a refund. But Le Conte also issued a £9 credit note, which he hid in his apron.

On 30 April, another customer brought an item to be swapped. Having swapped the item, Le Conte also issued himself a £20.82 credit note, which he placed on the floor and later hid in his apron.

On 1 September, Le Conte bought a black axe worth about £30, using the credit notes and 98p of his own money.

He was arrested on 17 September and the axe was recovered from his home. In interview he admitted what he had done.

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Defence advocate Paul Lockwood said his client suffered from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Le Conte had been prescribed medication to manage the condition, but had stopped taking it when he committed this crime.

Advocate Lockwood said this had not been a sophisticated crime and had only involved relatively low values.

Deputy Bailiff Richard McMahon said he was not entirely satisfied with the explanation that the crimes were committed out of boredom and noted that this was not Le Conte’s first dishonest act.

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‘You are still not taking full responsibility for this offence,’ he said.

He was satisfied the crime had crossed the custody threshold and sentenced Le Conte to four months in prison.

The offence breached a 120-hour community service order, which was handed down in February 2017 for possession of a weapon and herbal cannabis.

He had 19 hours left to complete, but the order was revoked and a further four months in prison was added to the sentence, taking the total time in prison to eight months.

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