Luis Miguel Fernandes was working at Aquila Stores and Unifare Stores when he made a number of payments using customers’ card details that he had made a note of on his phone, the Royal Court heard.
He also used a woman’s lost card to make other transactions and fraudulently altered his pay cheques – adding numbers to the start of the cheques to overpay himself thousands of pounds.
The 25-year-old, who required an interpretor in court, admitted nine counts of fraud, three counts of attempted fraud, one count of larceny by finding and a further count of falsifying a document.
The Royal Court heard that Fernandes’ crimes were uncovered only after a ‘number of members of the public reported to the police that their debit cards had been used to make unauthorised transactions’ at the stores late last year.
Subsequent investigations of his bank account revealed the large pay cheques that had been paid into his account in October and November last year.
It was suggested that he used some of the funds to buy a new television and an iWatch. Crown Advocate Matthew Maletroit, prosecuting, said Fernandes’ crimes were ‘very serious’ and warranted an 18-month jail term, particularly given the breach of trust involved.
The court heard that Fernandes had been suffering financial difficulties and that his fiancée and child, who were living in Madeira at the time, needed money.
Advocate Susan Pearmain, defending, pointed to Fernandes’ clean criminal record and argued that he should be given a community service order.
However, the Bailiff, Sir William Bailhache, presiding, said that frauds that included a gross breach of trust would almost always result in a jail term.
As well as sentencing Fernandes to 18 months in prison, he was also recommended for deportation.
Jurats Jerry Ramsden and Rozanne Thomas were sitting.