A BRITISH Aerospace engineer stole £600 conference phones from his employer and then sold them to the highest bidder on e-Bay.
But his internet sales scam was uncovered when investigators successfully bid for one of their own items and it was delivered carrying the thief's name and address.
David Wood, 26, of Jeffrey Hill Close, Grimsargh, pleaded guilty to two charges of theft and asked for five similar offences to be taken into consideration. He was ordered to do 100 hours community punishment and pay 3,500 compensation.
Philippa White, prosecuting, said staff at British Aerospace at Samlesbury noticed that a number of conference phones, each valued at 600, and two 2,000 projectors had gone missing. Items of a similar description were being sold on e-Bay and the next time one was offered the company successfully bid for it through the wife of an employee in Luton. Payment of 180 was arranged and the conference phone was posted to Luton.
Mrs White said the items sold on e-Bay had all been stolen from a part of the Samlesbury complex controlled by swipe card access.
When Wood's name was found on the parcel an audit of swipe card use showed he had been in the various sections during the period when property went missing.
One phone and a projector were found when police searched his house.
Mrs White said Wood had been cautioned for an offence of shoplifting earlier this year.
John Rimmer, defending, said as a result of the offences Wood had lost his job, his home and his fiancee.
Mr Rimmer said his client had been under extreme emotional and financial pressure and this had caused him to go off the rails.
"Because his father, uncle and brother were all successful in engineering he found himself pushed in the same direction and he was perhaps a round peg in a square hole," saidMr Rimmer. "He was getting married, buying a house and the whole situation became too much for him. I would say he was clearly heading for a nervous breakdown.
"He has been dismissed by British Aerospace and his marriage plans hit the rocks very quickly as a result of these offences," he said.
"Being out of work his finances are dire and the house is up for sale."
The magistrates questioned a 19,000 car loan detailed on Wood's means enquiry form and he said it had been to buy a Toyota Celica which was now also up for sale.