Dad stole up to £30,000 after wife had quadruplets - who needed 20 nappies a day

By Ethan Davies & Chiara Fiorillo

A dad stole up to £30,000 from his workplace to "make ends meet" after his wife had quadruplets, a court heard.

Matthew Davies, 35, worked as sales manager at Dace Specialist Car Centre in Stockport, Greater Manchester, at the time of the thefts.

He has admitted to stealing between £20,000 and £30,000 in motors and money from the company between October 2018 and 2019.

The court heard his children cost up to £800 a month at one stage, including 20 nappies and 24 bottles of milk a day.

Davies, who earned more than £50,000 per year, has since repaid a "substantial" amount to the company, the Manchester Evening News reports.

Minshull Street Crown Court heard Davies would sell "company stock privately" and also "kept customer deposits" during his year of dishonesty.

Prosecutor Alison Whalley said that in order to cover his tracks, Davies would add "fake" cars to Dace’s stock list "in order to give the impression of balancing the books".

Davies stole the money to 'make ends meet' (Anthony Moss)

His thefts were only discovered when a £570 discrepancy was discovered by the firm’s accountant and Davies made up an excuse as to why the cash had not been deposited.

Davies made use of the fact that employees would frequently take cash home from the business, pay it into their own bank account, and transfer it electronically back to the firm for security purposes - a practice that Dace denied ever took place.

He was challenged again about the discrepancy on October 3, 2019, by the company accountant and general manager - which is when he admitted his action.

A police investigation then began and it was discovered that Davies had debts after being served a county court judgement to repay someone, defaulted on a hire purchase agreement and had three credit card bills worth £1,800.

The company was insured against such an act, and managed to recoup the losses Davies could not repay through its policy - but one coworker had to surrender £4,750 in commission from the sales which never happened.

Davies had no previous convictions (Anthony Moss)

Defending Davies was Ricky John Holland, who told judge Angela Nield that his client stole the cars and cash in order to make ends meet for his large family.

“He and his wife have six children,” the defence barrister said, adding that four of their children were young quadruplets at the time.

“The logistics… when one has six children at home is no easy task. Perhaps that got the better of him.

“He had not used that money for nice holidays abroad or a lavish lifestyle.

“It was to make ends meet and accommodate the family.”

The judge handed Davies, who was said to be of "good character" and had no previous convictions, a suspended sentence, an unpaid work requirement and a compensation order.

She told him that he could not rely on his "personal circumstances" again if he came before the court.

She said: “It is clear that you are capable of living an honest life, and working hard to support your family.

“It was a breach of a significant measure of trust and involved a degree of sophistication.

“This is the first time you have been before the court. For that reason and your good character there’s every prospect of completing an order that does not require immediate custody.”

Davies was given a 10-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and must complete 200 hours of unpaid work for stealing £30,000 in cars and cash from Dace Specialist Car Centre.

He also must repay the company £5,000 in compensation, and £4,750 to the colleague who had to surrender the commission.

As he turned to leave the dock, judge Nield added: “Please do not find yourself before this court again - there are only so many times your personal circumstances will protect you.”

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