A WIGAN business owner has vented his anger at the decision not to lock up a man who scammed his company out of thousands of pounds.
Terence Dyson escaped prison after pleading guilty to three offences of theft from Bryn-based Norstrom Group.
Managing director Tony Norstrom today slated the sentence handed out to his former employee, labelling it as showing “two fingers to the community”.
He said: “It is an absolute joke to be honest, it is quite laughable. We estimate he has cost our business upwards of £50,000, he duped us.
“If someone walked into a post office and stole that amount they would be locked up. What message is this sending to people, that they can steal as long as it is from a company and not a shop?”
Mr Dyson, of Newland Avenue, Wigan, was divisional manager at the water products retailer and had been an employee for more than a decade.
The 65-year-old began by stealing a £9,000 power flush plumbing systems unit and as it went undetected he went on to steal another 44 between February 2008 and December 2010.
Mr Norstrum said: “We thought he was a dedicated employee but we now know that it was all an act.
“He is certainly not a stupid man, he manipulated our system so that it went undetected for years.
“But his actions have had repercussions, you can imagine what effect it has had on our reputation.
“And at first he blamed our other employees. He sold the units on to people for cash using my name, telling them that I had hit hard times and that’s why they were being sold cash in hand.
“It was not until we conducted a full review of our annual records going back years that we discovered the full extent of it.”
Mr Dyson received a 10-month suspended prison sentence for a year at Liverpool Crown Court this week and must carry out 200 hours unpaid work and has a 12 week curfew imposed from 7am to 7pm.
Sentencing him, Judge Graham Morrow, QC, said: “You blamed your wife saying she had a habit of spending money which you did not have which led to the financial difficulties.”
He pointed out that Dyson is now retired and described as sole carer for his wife but she says she does not need you to care for her and does not agree to selling the matrimonial home, which is his only asset.
Tom Fitzpatrick, defending, said that Dyson is “a broken man. He is effectively ruined for his remaining years”.
He added that he is in a “parlous financial state” and asked the judge not to jail him as an act of mercy.
Mr Nordstrom said that his company is in the process of retrieving some of the money stolen from them under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
He said: “We can recover the cost price of the items and as for the profits obtained by Mr Dyson, I am told that goes into the public purse.
“I don’t mind that, it can go to a dog’s home as far as I’m concerned. As long as he doesn’t get to keep it.”