'A thoroughly dishonest man': 'Billy Liar' thief fibbed about his mum having terminal cancer and stole thousands of pounds while working at Leeds firm
A thief stole thousands of pounds from a Leeds firm who trusted him to look after money and lied to his bosses about his mum dying from cancer.
A judge who locked up Thomas Moule described the 33-year-old dad as "something of a Billy Liar" as he sent him to prison.
Leeds Crown Court heard Moule stole over £7,000 from Wortley-based security gate firm Rolling Centre in just three months.
Moule used the cash to go on spending sprees to buy trainers and electronic devices and bragged about his purchases to colleagues.
The court heard Moule carried out the offences after being employed in November 2018.
In January 2019, the company managing director, Simon Smith, noticed an unusual transaction in which Moule had given a customer a 50 per cent discount on a sale which he was not authorised to do.
Mr Smith concluded that Moule had made a mistake and did not take further action.
Two months later, on March 28, Moule left work for the day and never returned.
The following month a customer came to the store to collect an order that he had paid for.
The sum of £933 had not been entered into the company system.
The prosecutor said this led Mr Smith to look at the CCTV system.
Footage showed Moule taking the cash from the customer then placing the money on top of the till instead of inside it.
David Hewitt, prosecuting, said: "During the course of his employment, he was often coming to work in new trainers and appeared to be buying himself new things."
Mr Smith carried out a thorough check of CCTV footage and identified 24 separate occasions where Moule took money that should have gone into the till.
The total loss to the company was £7,093.
Moule was arrested and interviewed in February last year and admitted that he had stolen money but disputed the amount.
Moule, now of Kirkby Road, Woking, pleaded guilty to theft.
Mr Smith provided a victim statement to the court which was read out on his behalf by the prosecutor.
He said: "As we run our own small business, the financial impact of Thomas Moule stealing from us was significant.
"We are a small close-knit team at Rolling Centre. As such, we place a great deal of trust in all our staff, especially people working at the trade desk who are handling cash.
"It caused us a great deal of stress and anxiety.
"We had to spend a few weeks investigating how much had been stolen from us. We had to go through months of CCTV footage and piece together what he had stolen.
"It was hard to watch him on the CCTV taking money from customers and seeing how deceptive he was, taking cash and hiding it in different places."
Mr Smith said other members of staff were "disgusted" with Moule's actions as he placed his colleagues under suspicion.
The managing director went on to describe how Moule told "a lot of lies and excuses", including telling his employer that his mother was terminally ill with cancer.
He said: "There was a pattern to his thefts where he would steal a large amount of money and not come in to work the next day.
"He was telling colleagues about his new purchases - an Apple MacBook, trainers etc.
"As well as stealing from us he was bragging indirectly about it.
"The worst lie he told us was that his mother was terminally ill with cancer.
"He said she only had hours to live and went home. It tied in with a day when he stole a lot of money from us."
Moule then contacted work to say his mum had died and he was allowed paid leave on compassionate grounds..
Mr Smith said: "We later learned that this was a lie."
The court heard Moule has previous convictions for stealing from an employer, committed in 2012.
The judge, Recorder Ben Nolan QC, asked Moule's barrister, Shila Whitehead: "Sorry to put you on the spot, but is his mother alive and well?"
Ms Whitehead replied: "I believe she is."
Ms Whitehead said Moule stole the money to fund his drug habit.
She added that Moule has now moved away from Leeds and his partner had recently given birth.
Ms Whitehead said Moule had told her that he had the promise of a job and, if he was not sent to prison, would be able to pay compensation to the firm from his wages.
Recorder Nolan adjourned the sentencing hearing for a day, saying he wanted written proof of the job offer.
He said: "I am afraid I regard him as something of a Billy Liar, having heard what is in the victim impact statement and what is in the pre-sentence report.
"I would like written proof of that employment.
"If that is not the case, I will assume that he has just made it up."
The following day it was revealed that he had not received a job offer but had simply applied to work for a cash and carry firm in Leeds.
Recorder Nolan told Moule: "The fact of the matter is that there is no job.
"You have made an application which has not yet been dealt with.
"If the company do their due diligence then they will see you have two convictions for theft from employers. They would not touch you with a barge pole.
"You have misled the court on a number of different issues.
"I took the view yesterday, and I take the view today, that you are a thoroughly dishonest man."
Moule was jailed for nine months.