Desperate husband stole goods from work to cover IVF treatment costs

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A desperate husband stole goods from his employer’s work site to help cover the costs of his wife’s IVF treatment.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Thursday, October 19, how David Lenthall, 46, of Church Close, North Wingfield, repeatedly stole tubes of Sikaflex 221 Automotive Sealant from the Stonebroom unit where he was being employed as a vehicle body builder by Abel Systems Ltd.

Prosecuting solicitor Becky Allsop said: “This company used equipment including particular tubes of sealant and the company confirmed that if people wanted the odd item for DIY work they could take it but a whistle-blower mentioned Lenthall was regularly stealing tubes of sealant and selling them on eBay.”

Mrs Allsop added that the company later marked tubes with ultra-violet marker pens and it was discovered these tubes had been taken, sold and re-purchased and they were re-traced back to the company’s original stock.

The company did not have strict records so it was difficult to pinpoint exactly how many tubes of sealant had been stolen, their exact value or the exact period of the offending, according to Mrs Allsop.

Lenthall was interviewed by police and he admitted he had been operating alone selling the tubes on via eBay for about 18 months because he was suffering with financial difficulties.

The defendant, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to the theft which happened between January, 2016, and September, 2017.

Defence solicitor Steve Brint described Lenthall as a family man who has never been before the criminal justice system before. Mr Brint explained Lenthall’s wife had wanted to be a mother and the couple spent thousands of pounds on IVF treatment.

The IVF was successful, according to Mr Brint, and the couple now have children but they had been struggling to pay for the costs of the treatment.

Mr Brint added: “He’s lost his good character and he’s been employed since leaving school and knows he will find it difficult to find employment but he knows he has to go and get some other qualifications and he has started a health and safety course. But getting back into work with a criminal record especially one of this type means he’s going to have to convince employers he can be trusted.”

Mr Brint added Lenthall admitted the offence and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity. Magistrates sentenced Lenthall to a 12 month community order with 120 hours of unpaid work.

The defendant was also ordered to pay £85 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.

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