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Ipswich carpet salesman denies £3k theft

PUBLISHED: 08:20 05 November 2019

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: ARCHANT

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: ARCHANT

An Ipswich carpet salesman accused of stealing more than £3,000 from his employers has denied being responsible for the theft.

Giving evidence during his trial at Ipswich Crown Court, Adrian Smith claimed he had been tricked into signing an an admission to the theft from Harts Carpet and Flooring in Ipswich, where he had worked as a sales assistant for 16 months.

He told the court that after being suspended from his job he had attended a disciplinary during which he claimed he had been asked to sign a blank piece of paper to confirm he had attended the meeting.

He alleged that someone had subsequently written on the piece of paper that he admitted stealing the money and had agreed to repay it.

Asked by his barrister Lynne Shirley: "Did you admit to stealing the money at the meeting or agree to repay the money?" Smith replied: "No. I signed a blank document and information was added on that document when I wasn't present."

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Smith, who has no previous convictions, denied he was lying about signing a blank piece of paper and that the truth of the matter was that his manager had written down his admissions in his presence and he had agreed to sign the document.

Smith, 49, of Pauline Street, Ipswich, has denied stealing £3,865 from Harts Carpets and Flooring, which is based in Dales Road, Ipswich, in May 2017.

The court has heard that Smith was suspended from his job at Harts Carpet and Flooring and later dismissed after £3,865 was found missing from cash tins by another employee when she went to bank the money.

Catherine Bradshaw, prosecuting, told the court that following the disappearance of the money the owner of the business launched an investigation during which he viewed CCTV footage.

Smith allegedly admitted taking the money after he was shown a still image taken from the CCTV footage and had signed an agreement saying he would repay the missing money.

He had also allegedly sent text messages accepting he had stolen the money but later claimed he had been pressured by his employers to send the texts.

The trial continues.

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