Solar panel salesman siphoned off £6,000

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A SOLAR panel salesman who diverted more than £6,000 of company cash into his own account avoided prison after a court heard he repaid the money.

Anthony Wilson took £6,250 from Cleaner Air Solutions because he had a cashflow problem, Durham Crown Court heard.

“Wilson was working as a salesman,” said Paul Newcombe, prosecuting. “He took a small deposit from a customer who paid by credit card. This money went into the company account, as it was supposed to do.

“When it came to paying the balance, Wilson gave the customer his personal account details.

“The customer unknowingly transferred £6,250 into Wilson’s personal account.”

Wilson, 41, of Paxton Court, Pity Me, Durham City, admitted fraud on February 12 last year.

Susan Hirst, defending, said: “Mr Wilson took the money for a short period of time because he had a cashflow problem.

“He also had marital problems at the time which may have clouded his judgement.

“Since this offence, he has started his own company which is doing quite well.”

Judge Robert Adams sentenced Wilson to a 12-month community order, 80 hours of unpaid work, and ordered him to pay £500 compensation to Cleaner Air Solutions of Meadowfield, Durham City.

The judge told Wilson: “You have pleaded guilty to fraud, although this was, in effect, a theft which involved a breach of trust.

“I can avoid custody due to what I’ve read about you in the reports, and the fact you have been working on a new business which appears to be trading well.”

Wilson must pay £40 statutory victim surcharge.