A British Gas worker stole a customer’s bank details – to pay his own utility bills.
Customer services adviser Chisenga Mafuta took Tristan Kirby’s debit card details over the telephone before using them to settle gas and electricity payments of nearly £500.
The 25-year-old was jailed for 24 weeks by Leeds magistrates after admitting two charges of fraud.
The court heard the father-of-one was working at the Ventura call centre in Leeds when Mr Kirby rang up on October 22 last year to cancel his account with British Gas.
Mafuta, of Salisbury Road in Armley, told Mr Kirby he had an outstanding balance of £10.96 and persuaded him to provide his debit card details to clear it.
Jill Seddon, prosecuting, said: “The next day Mr Kirby received a call from Halifax bank to say he had made two further payments of £282 and £216.39, of which he knew nothing.”
“He contacted British Gas and they found out that the two payments had been made to settle gas and electricity bills owed at the defendant’s address.”
Mr Kirby was told further unsuccessful attempts had been made to use the card at a coffee shop and shoe shop.
An internal investigation was carried out by British Gas.
Mafuta initially denied knowing anything about it and said he was not responsible for the bills at his property, but then admitted what he had done after being arrested by police.
Mohammed Rafiq, mitigating, said his client and his partner, who had a two-year-old child, were in financial trouble. He said: “Foolishly and stupidly he did what he did. It must have been obvious that the paper trail would come back to him, but he simply didn’t think about it.”
Sentencing Mafuta, chairman of the bench David Hall said: “Financial transactions depend on the trust vested in trading companies and its employees. A strong example has to be madein cases where an employee flouts that trust.”