A car salesman has been given a suspended jail sentence after stealing cash from the dealerships where he worked.
Alex Austin stole £4,000 from the Archie Moss car dealership in Loughborough and also made away with one of the company's cars. After unsuccessful attempts to get him to return the money and car, the police were contacted and Mr Austin was jailed.
However, having been bailed from jail the 28-year-old repeated the trick, stealing £750 from the Inchape Toyota dealership in Derby. He was taken to court again and was given a six month jail sentence, suspended for two years, with a thinking skills programme requirement. He was also ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work, the Leicester Mercury reported.
Mr Austin abused his road risks insurance policy by driving away one of the company's car with no intention of returning it. As well as the judicial backlash for his action, the car salesman will likely find it very hard to obtain a motor trade insurance policy should he wish to trade in cars in the future, with insurers reluctant to offer policies to people with criminal convictions.
The sentence given to Mr Austin at Leicester Crown Court could have been sterner but the judge took into account the fact that the car salesman was an ex-soldier and his life was in ruins at the time due to post-traumatic stress disorder, following his time on active duty in the Iraq war.
Mr Austin became addicted to cocaine and resorted to taking money from customers for cars without passing it on the dealership in order to fund his habit.