Ex-assistant manager avoids jail after stealing £3k from Barking supermarket

The former M Local store in Minter Road, Barking  now a My Local shop

The former M Local store in Minter Road, Barking now a My Local shop - Credit: Archant

A former supermarket assistant manager who stole more than £3,000 from his ex-employer over a six-month spree has narrowly avoided a jail sentence.

Nicholas Seth, 25, was actually promoted to the role at the Morrions M Local store, in Minter Road, Barking, during the period.

Barkingside Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday how Seth had first taken money from the till on April 3 last year, to pay for a birthday present for his niece.

After scanning through low-cost items such as alcoholic drinks and cigarettes, he then refunded the goods and took out the exact amount in cash for himself.

When it became apparent nobody had realised, he carried on the scam, taking £3,010.70 in total, but was found out when the store carried out an internal investigation into “irregularities”.

Although earning £1,100 a month, the court heard that he was spending even more as he struggled to support his former partner and their four-year-old child, who were living with him at the time.

Seth confessed to police officers when he was arrested and pleaded guilty to theft by employee at the earliest opportunity, but was sacked by the supermarket.

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Now living with his dad, he has a part-time job at another convenience store in Dagenham.

When asked by the judge if his new employer was aware of his conviction, he replied: “Yes. It was a friend who’s given me a second chance.”

The court also heard how Seth had raised thousands for charity in the past few years including £2,000 through a sponsored run for Marie Curie, £300 for Sue Ryder and £2,000 for a local little girl.

District judge Gary Lucie said: “You were in a position of trust and this went on for a long time.”

“On the positive side you have obviously shown remorse and I have taken into account your charitable work.”

Seth was given a sixth month sentence suspended for 12 months and ordered to pay back £3,000.

He was also given a community order and made to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

A Morrisons spokesman said: “We have tight internal controls to ensure that we catch the very small number of staff that attempt to take money from the company.”