Leeds finance controller told to repay £1,220 of ill-gotten gains

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A West Yorkshire company which had almost £600,000 stolen by a trusted employee is to get just £1,220 back as compensation.

Former finance controller Nicholas Dewhirst was jailed in April after he admitted stealing the money from Huddersfield-based Dystar UK Limited over more than seven years.

Dewhirst, of Lane End, Bramley, was sentenced to five years for the offence but a court heard he is now bankrupt.

The 53-year-old had been earning £40,000 a year while he worked for the firm but stole the money to pay off debts.

Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday that his only available asset was £1,220 in cash which was seized by the police when he was arrested.

Prosecutor Jonathan Sharp told Judge Neil Clark that Dewhirst’s benefit figure from criminal conduct had been agreed as £593,023.

Sentencing Dewhirst in April Judge Jonathan Durham Hall told Dewhirst that he had won the affection and trust of everyone who came into contact with him following his appointment.

He said Dewhirst’s colleagues had felt shock and bewilderment at the fact that he could have stolen from the company. He said: “There were other ways honestly of dealing with that debt. You rejected all of those, Your attempts to disguise your stealing varied from the reasonably sophisticated to the amateur wielding of a Tippex pen.”

(from left) Nick Butler, Jane Butler, Sir Anthony Milnes-Coates, Tricia Stewart, James Naylor, Lady Harriet Milnes-Coates, Joey Clover at the Two Ridings Community Foundation Annual Charity Ball

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