Ely man faces crown court sentencing after admitting stealing over £86,000 from a roofing firm

Court report

Court report - Credit: Archant

An Ely man who was a former manager from the Letchworth branch of one of the UK’s largest roofing contractors has admitted taking backhanders and fiddling with contracts to gain tens of thousands of pounds.

Dan Tomlin, of Ely, pleaded guilty to stealing £86,840 from Vince Hughes, who was his superior at Avonside Group Services’ Letchworth site, and fraudulently altering the terms of contracts to gain £16,000.

Stevenage Magistrates’ Court heard on Monday that Tomlin, dressed smartly in a black suit and tie, had responsibility for paperwork such as invoices and accounts at Avonside’s Letchworth branch. The fraud took place between 2012 and 2015.

Prosecutor Shahida Parveen told the court that the 37-year-old had arranged for money to be paid to himself directly rather than the company, and accepted backhanders from a contractor to guarantee him the work.

She stressed the level of trust Avonside had given him regarding its accounts, then said: “This puts it in high culpability. The Crown says this should be allocated to the crown court.”

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Raj Devitt, defending Tomlin, told the court that his client was of good character and had repaid the money in full.

“He has given a guilty plea from the onset,” Mr Devitt said. “He has been full and frank in his admissions.

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“It is my understanding that the £86,840 includes the £16,000.”

After retiring, the bench ruled that Tomlin’s ‘calculated scheme over a long period of time’ was a serious enough matter that the court lacked sufficient powers of jurisdiction to pass sentence.

He was granted unconditional bail to appear at Cambridge Crown Court for sentence on July 4.

Mr Hughes, who observed the proceedings from the public gallery, confirmed to this paper’s sister paper The Comet outside the court that Tomlin had paid back an amount of money specified in a confidential agreement.

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