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Phone shop manager is jailed for mobiles scam

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GREED drove a phone shop manager to steal more than 100 mobiles from his employer, the Royal Court heard.

(Picture by Adrian Miller, 25212850)

Matthew Glen-Williamson, 32, admitted abusing his position as business manager of the Airtel-Vodafone High Street shop and defrauding the company of more than £66,000 by taking 107 mobiles.

Glen-Williamson, who had previously given his address as Silversands Thalia, 25, Hauteville, St Peter Port, was jailed for 18 months.

Judge Russell Finch said this was a classic case of breaching the trust of an employer. He said the considerable amount involved was an aggravating factor.

‘You have badly let down your employer,’ he said. ‘Motivation for this extensive dishonesty ... is greed.’

The court heard how he had worked at the shop since 2011 and became its business manager in 2013. That gave him access to the shop’s stock control.

Handsets came into the shop either by purchase orders or transfers between the Guernsey and Jersey branches.

In February 2018, a senior manager in Jersey noticed inconsistencies in the Guernsey stock levels. A large number of handsets were registered as having left Guernsey, but never arrived in Jersey.

An investigation was launched and an unannounced stock check took place. Twelve handsets were found at the shop, which the investigator was told was for Glen-Williamson’s own business.

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The defendant had previously set up Tanaka Enterprises and sold a number of mobile phone handsets, largely through eBay. A document was found listing 107 mobile phones with serial numbers, which had belonged to Airtel. eBay buyers were contacted and confirmed their phones had the matching serial numbers.

It was largely iPhone 8 and iPhone 7 phones which were taken and Glen-Williamson sold them for between £400 and £800.

Defence advocate Liam Roffey said his client was described as a decent, generous person, and he could not explain to the court why this had happened.

‘He is holding his hands up and is honestly stating there is no excuse for what he did,’ he said.

He added that his client was genuinely remorseful.

. Separately, Airtel is seeking £137,000 in compensation from the defendant, which includes the costs of 143 Airtel devices that are missing. This will be heard as a civil case.

Juliet Pouteaux

By Juliet Pouteaux
News reporter

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