[A] JOINERY firm’s Carlisle branch manager who defrauded his employer to the tune of £24,000 has been spared immediate prison.
Anthony Lee Heggie, 36, manufactured more than 70 fake company invoices over a period of more than two years while running Howdens Joinery’s Kingstown base in the city.
Long-serving employee Heggie raided petty cash and pocketed £23,897 which, Carlisle Crown Court heard, he spent on drinking binges, electrical items for his family home and a bike for his daughter.
He was also said to have sought counter-signatures on doctored documents from colleagues who had “no idea” about his offending.
Heggie was sentenced today (FRI) having previously admitted a charge of false accounting.
Judge Peter Hughes QC was told of Heggie’s “difficult family circumstances” and considered character references provided on his behalf.
Judge Hughes suspended a 14-month prison sentence for two years. Heggie, of Cresswell Avenue, Carlisle, was also given a community order comprising rehabilitation and 250 hours’ unpaid work.
“You should consider yourself extremely fortunate to avoid an immediate sentence of imprisonment,” the judge said.