Skegness Halfords employee stole more than £1k of goods and sold them on Facebook under false name

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An employee at the Skegness branch of Halfords, stole more than a thousand pounds worth of goods from the shop and sold them on Facebook under a false identity, a court has heard.

Matthew Jack Baker, 29, of Queens Estate, Wainfleet, admitted stealing £1,310 worth of goods as an employee between December 1 and 29 last year, when he appeared at Boston Magistrates Court.

Jim Clare, prosecuting, said the store’s manager was told on December 29 that a large amount of stock had gone missing and was also told that Halfords stock was being sold on the social media site Facebook by someone in the Skegness area using the name Lillian Lamb.

Mr Clare said the manager suspected Baker and was able to prove that he was using the alias Lillian Lamb and he sent a message via the site that he wanted to buy some of the items and was given an address to collect them which he knew to be Baker’s.

He said the manager called Baker in to see him and he did eventually admit that he had stolen the items and was selling them through Facebook.

Mr Clare said Baker had a previous conviction for theft as an employee in 2008 and had a fraud conviction in 2012.

In mitigation, Daven Naghen said Baker, who has three children, had been working only 16 hours a week on the minimum wage, and had got into a ‘financial mess’.

He said Baker would cooperate with and benefit from a community order and had already started to make compensation to Halfords by waiving his final pay cheque of £345.

Barbara Newman for the Probation Service said Baker was depressed, was struggling financially because of a lack of working hours and was unable to pay his bills.

She said he was now working in a fish and chip shop with longer hours and earning more money.

The magistrates ordered Baker to observe an electronically monitored curfew between the hours of 7pm and 7am for the next 16 weeks and ordered to repay £965 in compensation and £170 in costs and charges.