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£188,000 STOLEN: Man from Hemel Hempstead pleads guilty to stealing from employer

 Published on: 11th November 2020   |   By: News Bulletin   |   Category: Uncategorized

A company’s chief accountant who stole £188,000 to live the life of a “city boy” was jailed for four years on Tuesday, November 10.

David Gowans, 53, spent the money taken from Alpha Browett Taylor on an extravagant lifestyle, including over £30,000 on expensive holidays.

But St Albans Crown Court heard he has nothing left, is in a serious medical condition and has been living in a housing association home flat in Hemel Hempstead.

Gowans of Gadebridge Point, Hemel Hempstead appeared for sentence having pleaded guilty to fraud and false accounting between January 2013 and August 2017.

Prosecutor Gerard Renouf said Gowans took the money by changing the bank account details of the property and asset management company’s contractors to his own account. He also made out fake invoices.

It was agreed that he took a total of £188,752.82. When asked by Hertfordshire police why he did it, he said: “Because I could.” He added that it maybe because he had a vendetta against the owner of the company, Mr Richard Hutt.

Mr Renouf said: “The money Mr Gowans obtained was spent on inflating his standard of living with over £30,000 spent on expensive holidays.

“He said he wanted to maintain a ‘City Boy’ lifestyle and wine and dine his partner.”

In a victim personal statement, which he read to the judge, Mr Hutt, 67, said he had worked seven days a week to repay clients and ensure the company is not destroyed. He said he had not taken a salary from the business since June 2017.

Mr Hutt said he estimated the personal loss he had suffered as a result of the fraud was half a million pounds.

Defending, Jide Lanlehin said Gowans has no money, is no longer working and suffers from a serious medical condition.

He said: “He has asked made to express his remorse. The defendant indicated his guilty plea at the first opportunity and made full and frank admissions at the police station.

“He has no assets and is not in a position to pay compensation. “

Jailing him, Judge Philip Grey Judge Grey said: “With brazen dishonesty you used your role to line your own pockets.

“You used it to inflate a standard of living. You were living high on the hog. You frittered away just under £190,000 that was not yours.

“Mr Hutt’s anger is entirely justified. His company’s reputation has been damaged. He has had to dig into personal funds to keep the company afloat. You used his company as a cash cow.”

A Proceeds of Crime hearing has been set for April 16.

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