Denton fraudster claims ‘sexual confusion’ made him steal £60K from employers

A ‘sexually confused’ fraudster who stole more than £60,000 from his Wythenshawe employers has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Stephen Lindop, 35, of Princess Avenue, Denton, pleaded guilty to one count of theft and one count of fraud by failing to disclose information.

Lindop was exposed after his employers realised £63,383.80 was missing from an ATM machine at The Forum in Wythenshawe.

Defence counsel Hunter Gray said the fraudster led a flamboyant lifestyle beyond his means to conceal a ‘struggle with his sexuality’.

He said: ”He points to his own difficulties in dealing with his sexuality throughout his 20s, becoming a person he didn’t really like, lacking confidence, feeling low self-esteem,” said Mr Gray.

“He accepts he began to steal to fund a lifestyle he couldn’t afford to surround himself around people who were better than him, or to mask the person he really was hidden behind this lifestyle, therefore hiding himself from himself.

“Over the last two years he has finally opened up to who he is. He has addressed this and realised the lifestyle he was leading was meaningless. He states his offending is behind him and how ashamed he is and deeply remorseful.”

Lindop received a two-year suspended sentence after being convicted of fraud in December 2010.

He was found guilty of falsifying records while working as a pub manager in Bristol, pocketing £54,000 that should have gone through the business.

He then applied for the post of head chef and manager of The Forum in Wythenshawe in May 2011, but failed to declare his criminal conviction and was subsequently appointed to the job.

Between May 2011 and January 2012 he stole more than £60,000 from the café and put the takings into his own account rather than the owners’.

After being suspended from the Wythenshawe café, the 35-year-old moved onto another job at Mitie Foods in Trafford Park in March 2012, when he was again employed as a chef/manager.

Over a three-month-period, Lindop stole £4,785 that had been spent on vending machines and should have been entered into the computer.

“By his very actions, Lindop has shown himself to be a brazen, persistent and prolific fraudster who has shown no sign of changing his criminal ways,” said Detective Constable Shaun Nicholls of Greater Manchester Police.

“Amazingly, when he had been confronted about stealing more than £60,000 from his employer, just a few short months later he was at it again, stealing the profits from another business and pocketing thousands of pounds in cash.”

On October 16 he was sentenced to three years imprisonment, 12 months of which was for the breach of suspended sentence from his previous conviction, at Manchester Crown Court, Crown Square.

“He duped his employers by failing to disclose his convictions, flouting himself as trustworthy when he was anything but,” said Detective Constable Nicholls.

“Whatever the motive for this criminal behaviour – whether it was arrogance, greed, or just a weakness or inability to resist temptation – Lindop is a fraudster through and through, and hopefully a prison sentence will finally be the straw that breaks the camel’s break that forces him to change.”

Image courtesy of Mikey, with thanks.

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