A FORKLIFT truck driver who stole £40,000 worth of power tools from the warehouse he worked at has been jailed for two years.
Anthony Hart, of Lodden Avenue, Berinsfield, was sentenced on Tuesday at Oxford Crown Court after he pleaded guilty to three counts of theft by an employee.
His accomplice, 30-year-old Yunus Cevahir, received a 12-month suspended sentence for accepting the stolen tools and selling them over the internet.
Jehad Mustafa, prosecuting, said Hart stole Milwaukee power tools from a warehouse in Purchas Road, near Didcot, belonging to logistics firm Kuehne & Nagel.
The barrister said the 44-year-old used his forklift truck to load goods into a waiting car on September 25, September 26 and October 8, 2012.
Mr Mustafa said the father-of-five was caught on the warehouse’s CCTV, which was installed after his employers realised tools had gone missing.
He told Judge Gordon Risius that when Hart was spotted acting suspiciously on the footage a private investigator was hired to follow the car he was meeting.
This led them to Cevahir, Mr Mustafa explained, who had been selling the tools on eBay and pleaded guilty to one count of handling stolen goods.
He added that Hart has 11 previous convictions for 18 offences, but Cevahir did not have a criminal record.
Defending Hart, Jonathan Coode said although his client had been a team leader he had not been in a high position of trust.
He added that the crimes were partly to cover debts of £35,000 which the forklift truck driver had run up.
Judge Gordon Risius gave him to two years in prison, but suspended Cevahir’s sentence, partly because he was suffering from familial Mediterranean fever, a hereditary inflammatory disorder.