Finance manager jailed for paying £114,000 into his own bank account
GAMBLING addict Derek Grinstead stole £114,000 from his employer by paying it into his own bank account.
The 45-year-old was finance manager at the Severn and Wye Smokery when he carried out the “crude fraud” over three and a half years.
But he was caught out when a new finance director spotted something fishy in the accounts, Gloucester Crown Court heard.
Suzanne Green realised that a £2,595 payment had apparently been made to a fish supply firm which the company did not deal with.
Investigations revealed dad-of-three Grinstead, of The Merrin, Mitcheldean, had paid money into his own bank account dozens of times, said prosecutor Julian Kesner.
Initially, Grinstead tried to claim he had just made a mistake – but he soon came clean and frankly admitted his crimes against the company, which is based at Chaxhill, near Westbury-on-Severn.
Grinstead pleaded guilty to stealing the money from Richard Cook, boss of the Severn and Wye Smokery, between December 2009 and May this year.
Judge William Hart jailed him for 16 months.
“Over a period of years you abused your position as a finance manager to embezzle some £114,000,” said the judge. “You did that because you had built up substantial gambling debts and they were not the sort of debt you could defer indefinitely.
“The aggravating feature is that this was a long course of offending. Suspending the prison sentence I must pass would send out wholly inappropriate messages to you and others.”
From the public gallery, Grinstead’s weeping wife called “I love you” as he was led to the cells. Grinstead gave her a grin and a wink.
Jon Holmes, in mitigation, told the court that there was no attempt by Grinstead to prevaricate or ‘wriggle out of it’ when he was confronted about his crimes.
“These offences result from the iniquity of addiction – in this case a gambling addiction,” he said.
“He was living a nightmare twilight life. It was a life his wife and nearest and dearest knew nothing about.
“It has laid him low. It has cost his employers a very significant sum of money. He is remorseful but cannot undo what has happened. It was a classic case of getting into debt because of his addiction, borrowing money from a loan shark at exorbitant rates and never being able to pay it back.”
The court heard Grinstead’s children were aged five, three and four months.