A FAMILY man whose finances fell into dire straits stole more than £11,500 from his employer in Swansea.
Stephen Evans fraudulently obtained £11,532.09 from car parts company Euro Car Parts after falling into debts totalling around £60,000.
The 38-year-old started working for the company as a sales advisor in the Cardiff office in 2006 before being promoted to sales manager in the Swansea branch based at the city's Llansamlet office in March 2010.
Swansea Crown Court yesterday heard how, following an investigation by the company's compliance and audit manager in May 2011, Evans had authorised 71 refunds to three credit cards including two in his name and one in his wife's name.
The compliance and audit manager went to the Swansea office of Euro Car Parts and confronted Evans who admitted the offences.
The defendant was immediately suspended from the business and then dismissed by the company.
Prosecutor Brian Simpson told the court South Wales Police were informed and Evans admitted he had authorised the refunds to help cover his own debts.
Mr Simpson said: "He (Evans) said he did this as he was in financial dire straits in 2010.
"He owed around £60,000, his home was repossessed that year and he was in arrears with utility bills and other loans.
"He said he felt guilty about his actions especially with the trust people had in him."
Kevin Seal, defending, told the court Evans's father died in 2010 and he attempted to provide financial support for his mother.
He said: "He had been a good employee and thought a lot of his company and the people who he worked for.
"He has great concerns not for his own well being but for his family and his wife and children and how they would live and provide for themselves if he were to lose his liberty."
Judge Keith Thomas sentenced Evans, of Brook Street in Barry, to a jail term of eight months suspended for 18 months as well as 200 hours of unpaid community work and said: "This is a serious offence in breach of a relatively high degree of trust given to you by your promotion.
"You abused that trust by settling your own financial concerns which resulted in you obtaining dishonestly funds from your employer."