A man has been given a suspended sentence for stealing more than 300 designer lamps from a Huddersfield company, selling them on eBay.
Leeds Crown Court heard Peter Humpleby was working in the George Street, Milnsbridge warehouse of Pacific Lifestyle Ltd as a stock controller.
He had been working for the same company since 1997 and part of his role was dealing with any damaged or returned products.
Among items sold by the firm were table lamps designed by Jenny Worrall which were supplied exclusively to John Lewis and which would retail at between £150 and £350.
Duncan Ritchie prosecuting told the court Humpleby’s offending came to light when it came to the attention of a sales executive at the firm that 20 Jenny Worrall lamps were being offered for sale on eBay.
That person posed as a potential buyer to ask the seller some questions and a response came he was selling it on behalf of someone else. The seller’s name had changed but looking at back records led to Humpleby.
Management called him to a meeting and he initially denied responsibility but then admitted his guilt and was subsequently dismissed.
Inquiries showed he had stolen 308 lamps which cost about £15,000 but had been sold for £32,550.30.
Rachel Smith representing Humpleby said after paying eBay and PayPal fees he had made around £18,129.
She said in 2014 both he and his partner had been in full time employment but she had to stop work because of health problems and he was left trying to pay all the bills.
He had taken one lamp and when it sold he took more, some of them had been returned up to two years earlier “and things spiralled out of control.”
Humpleby, 34 of Lane Top, Royd House Lane, Linthwaite, admitted theft and was given an eight-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months with 180 hours unpaid work and a two month electronically monitored curfew from 8pm to 7am.
Judge Jacqueline Davies told him he had received “not an insignificant sum” as a result of his dishonesty. “You made it breaching the trust placed in you by your employers” but she had been persuaded to give him a chance.
A Proceeds of Crime Order showed his benefit to be £32,550.30 but with no assets a nominal £1 confiscation order was made with seven days in prison in default. She warned him that could be reconsidered if he should come into money.