Employee repays stolen $20,000

An unhappy employee of a Palmerston North engineering company has paid back the $20,000 he stole from the business.

This, and the fact that Christopher Paul Croton, 40, now worked for a project management company and had to travel away from Palmerston North, saved him from a community detention sentence.

But he will still have to perform 160 hours' community work after being sentenced in the Palmerston North District Court yesterday on one charge each of dishonestly using a document and accessing a computer system for a dishonest purpose.

In 2010 and 2011 Croton worked for Kevin O'Connor and Associates, an engineering and planning firm.

He was given sole responsibility to oversee a subsidiary company called CAD.I.T and given access to its bank account and invoice software.

Between March 2010 and October 2011, Croton transferred $7221.25 in nine separate transactions from the business bank account to his own account.

And between April 1, 2010, and December 30, 2011, he sent out nine invoices to CAD.I.T clients but changed the bank account number on the invoices to his own. Businesses paid $13,631.44 into Croton's account.

Defence lawyer Phillip Drummond said Croton's repayment efforts were impressive and that it was "highly unlikely" his client would be back in court.

Judge Jennifer Binns said Croton stole the money because he did not think he was getting sufficient remuneration at work.

Manawatu Standard