Debt-hit Carlisle delivery man stole £7000 TV – News & Star

A DEBT-STRICKEN Carlisle delivery driver stole a £7,000 television – and then dumped it when his bosses became suspicious.

Martyn Holmes, 33, finally admitted his guilt at the city’s Rickergate Magistrates’ Court, where his defence solicitor told District Judge Gerald Chalk that the crime was an impulsive and stupid act borne out of financial pressure.

Peter Kelly, prosecuting, said the defendant committed the offence while working for Longtown based Cumbria Logistics.

The television involved was a 75-inch Samsung, so big that a forklift truck was needed to load it on to Holmes’s van when he was asked to deliver it in Carlisle on October 25 last year.

“It was a huge and unique television,” the defendant later told police.

When it vanished, suspicion fell on another person, the court heard.

Yet an investigation revealed how the digital delivery note that Holmes suggested showed he dropped off the TV to a customer was forged, said Mr Kelly.

When questioned, Holmes could not recall the TV being unloaded from his van, he claimed.

Rachel Dixon, for the defendant, of Croft Close, Cumwhinton, said of the theft: “It was an impulsive decision, and the defendant describes his actions as stupid.

“There was no detailed plan to steal the television.”

The lawyer said Holmes had told her he was battling with debts of around £20,000 and he and his partner had argued constantly about financial problems.

She said: “When he realised people were becoming suspicious, he discarded the television in the middle of nowhere. He was panicking. He was thinking about taking the television back to Cumbria Logistics but by that point it was too late.

“So he has not gained financially as a result of this.”

Miss Dixon said the firm suspended Holmes but he never returned to the firm and has since been suffering from anxiety and depression.”

Miss Dixon added: “Taking the TV has pushed him into seeking help for his financial issues.”

Holmes has now set up a debt repayment plan and was earning money as a wagon driver, though there was a chance he could be dismissed when his new employer finds out about the theft of the television.

District Judge Chalk told the defendant: “This is a clear breach of trust: you were a delivery man and you stole a high value item and the nature of the offending brought suspicion on a third party. Therefore I take this very seriously.”

He imposed a 12 month community order, with 160 hours of unpaid work.

The judge pointed out that at the rate suggested by the defendant, it would take Holmes 14 years to fully compensate his victim. The judge added: “I’d like you to stop and think: you stole an item worth £7,000 and it is lost; abandoned.”

Holmes must pay a “token” £1,000 in compensation to Cumbria Logistics.

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