Thieving employee walks free after stealing from Sunderland firm

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A PROPERTY manager who helped himself to cash from a struggling firm has been spared jail.

Mark Esdaile was allowed access to Sunderland-based Liddell Dunbar Ltd’s bank accounts after he was taken on by the firm in February.

Newcastle Crown Court heard within months, the 29-year-old, who has a conviction for stealing from a previous employer, had helped himself to more than £2,000 belonging to the company.

Esdaile, a partly-qualified accountant, of Hyde Street, South Shields, admitted theft.

The court heard Esdaile has a long-term gambling habit which he is trying to overcome.

Mr Recorder William Lowe sentenced him to three months’ imprisonment, suspended for a year with supervision to enable him to get help to beat his addiction.

Esdaile was also ordered to carry out 240 hours’ unpaid work.

The judge said: “Offences of this type, as is the case here, do lead to consequences for the businesses with whom the theft takes place.

“I am told there has been loss of employment as a result of the position the company is in.”