An accountant from Norfolk was recently jailed for 16 months after he admitted stealing tens of thousands of pounds from his employer.
Mark Hewitt was paid a salary of more than £65,000 a year by his Great Yarmouth based employer SeaJacks. However, after he did not get the returns he was expecting on the shares he purchased from the firm, he stole £80,000 in dribs and drabs.
During the hearing at Norfolk Crown Court, it was revealed that Hewitt spent £10,500 of the stolen funds on a wedding reception that he later cancelled; he did keep hold of 56 bottles of wine earmarked for the reception. He also deposited some of the stolen funds into his own personal bank account and used some more to pay off his credit card expenses.
The theft did not come to light until Hewitt left SeaJacks and the new accountant discovered the discrepancies. Hewitt has now repaid £60,000 of the stolen money, but disputes the £20,000 balance leading his defence lawyer to tell the court that his client believed he had now made full restitution to SeaJacks.
Christopher Makey, the recorder, sentenced Hewitt to 16 months in jail and told him his crime constituted a serious breach of trust. He did accept the claim that Hewitt had repaid all the money he had stolen.
Blair Ainslie, SeaJacks UK’s MD, said he was both saddened and disappointed that Hewitt abused the trust the company had placed in him.