Sunderland engineer used company fuel card to cover personal journeys after being sacked

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

An engineer sacked while recuperating after an assault used his company fuel card to cover personal trips - including to hospital, a court heard.

Andrew Fife, 44, of Badger Close, Hall Farm, Sunderland, filled his vehicle with £2,100 of fuel at filling stations in South Tyneside – often to pay for trips to hospital for check-ups - in the five months after he lost his job.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But Fife was caught when bosses at MAP Group UK uncovered a string of outgoing payments between Thursday, August 3, and Wednesday, January 17.

They realised the card had been repeatedly used to pay for petrol or diesel, prosecutor Stephen Davies told magistrates in South Tyneside.

When first interviewed by police, ex-armed forces man Fife denied the allegation but later returned to voluntarily admit his guilt.

Mr Davies said: “MAP Group UK is an integrated provider of technology services and Mr Fife was employed by that company.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“As part of his employment as an engineer, he was provided with an Allstar fuel card that allowed him to fill the vehicle that he was using for work.

“He left the company on August 3 and retained the card and didn’t surrender it to the firm and used it to obtain fuel. Police were told.

“He was interviewed by the police and said that he wasn’t aware of misusing the card for fuel and wasn’t aware that it was on his person.

“By his guilty plea, he accepts that he had used the card. It’s a largish amount of money and compensation is sought. This was a breach of trust.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Fife, who has several previous convictions, pleaded guilty to a charge of theft by an employee.

He was last before a court in 2017 for criminal damage and breach of a restraining order, and in 2006 for an assault.

Alastair Naismith, defending, said: “He went back to the police after his first interview and admitted that he had lied.

“He provided them with details of how and where he had used the card, he had a change of mind and held his hands up.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“He lost his employment following an assault where he was hit with a crowbar. It’s because of this injury that he was unable to work.

“He was dismissed by the company when he was still in bed recovering. He used the petrol to get to and from hospital.”

Magistrates adjourned the case for reports and granted Fife unconditional bail to be sentenced at the same court on Wednesday, May 8.