An estate agent who stole per £300,000 from an estate agency spent the money on designer goods and expensive holidays - and even had some extravagant online purchases delivered to the branch office he was working from.
Robert Parker, 28, from Barry in south Wales, has been jailed for three years and two months for stealing the money, which he initially explained to his company was missing because of a software glitch.
His boss Nina Chivers, proprietor of Nina Estate Agents in Barry, regarded Parker as a close family friend and told Cardiff Crown Court at an earlier trial that: "Mr Parker has ruined my life and my family's life. He has been a family friend and part of our family life since he was 14.
"He would go cycling with my husband and take part in family events and often refer to me as his second mum. I cannot escape the image I saw on the office CCTV of him kissing a wad of money and then placing it into a suit I had previously bought him. I have suffered financially which I will never recover from.”
Parker worked at Nina Estate Agents after dropping out of university in 2009; he manipulated management accounts and used false records, and police charges suggest he stole £302,000 between 2012 and 2017.
A BBC report of the original court case and yesterday’s sentencing says: “When Parker was confronted by his boss, he continually denied any wrongdoing and said a computer software programme was inaccurate.
“Colleagues said he would have expensive online purchases delivered to the office and brag about winning thousands of pounds from bets on horse racing. He later told detectives he had developed a severe gambling addiction, at one stage placing bets of £50,000 a month.”
You can read the full BBC story here.