An IT engineer with a serious gambling problem who stole 38 iPhones and 10 laptops worth £23,000 from a law firm has been banned from working in the profession.
Lewis Green was convicted of theft at Nottingham Crown Court earlier this year and sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment, suspended for 15 months.
He was also required to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay costs of £340 and a victim surcharge of £156.
Mr Green worked for Nottingham-based law firm Browne Jacobson for 19 months to May 2021, when was dismissed for gross misconduct.
The ban by the Solicitors Regulation Authority means he cannot work for a law firm in the future without the regulator’s permission.
According to a report in the Nottingham Post, Mr Green had pleaded guilty and wrote an open letter to the court accepting that his actions were inexcusable and offering his sincere apologises to Browne Jacobson.
The court heard that the items that were stolen were registered on Apple Business Manager. Only a limited number of people had access to the system, although the fact access was via a generic login caused some difficulty in identifying the thief.
After it was established that Mr Green, an infrastructure engineer in the IT department, accessed the secure storage and removed the laptops and iPhones, he initially denied knowledge and claimed he had not signed into the Apple Business Manager “for ages”.
But when he was presented with the evidence, he admitted his guilt and was invited to a voluntary police station interview.
He said it was due to a gambling addiction and that the items had gone and could not be returned. He had decommissioned them on the system so they could be sold on.
The newspaper said Judge Julie Warburton acknowledged it was out of character for Mr Green to behave in this way and that it came after “a series of traumatic events over two years”.
She said his gambling addiction became a “form of release” and “you were unable to stop it”. Mr Green said he “hit the self-destruct button”.
Mr Green was said to now be attending Gamblers Anonymous.