Hard-up workmates stole diesel from their employer

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TWO Sunderland workmates were fined for stealing diesel from the company they worked for.

Stanley James, 51, of Faber Road, Southwick, and Karl Thomas Wass, 39, of Charters Crescent, South Hetton, appeared before Sunderland Magistrates Court charged with stealing a quantity of red diesel from their employer, Gleeson Homes Ltd.

The court heard the pair both worked at the Ford Estate site and between November 1 and 15 last year they stole the fuel on Saturdays when there was no management around.

Linda Beck, prosecuting, said their manager became aware that more diesel was being used than should be and CCTV showed the two men filling Wass’s car and some containers.

The defendants said they had filled up Wass’s car seven or eight times and they had filled about 15 drums of diesel and sold them for £10 each.

Wass, who was a forklift truck driver, and James, who was a labourer, both lost their jobs with the company.

Philipa Wylie, defending the pair, who both admitted their guilt, said: “Both regard this as a stupid incident which occurred near Christmas.

“They needed money and saw this as an easy way to do that.”

James was fined £70 and ordered to pay £50 costs and £20 victim surcharge and Wass was fined £200 and ordered to pay £50 costs and £20 victim surcharge.

Glesson owed Wass £550 and James £450 in pay and holidays, and magistrates said that would act as compensation.