Two employees who stole thousands from a cash collection depot in Maidstone have been jailed for four years each.
Barry Jackman, 56 years old, of Brissenden Green Lane, Ashford; and Mark Knight, 46 years-old, of Middlesex Road, Maidstone, were charged following an internal investigation by G4S, who contacted police after they noticed money going missing from the depot.
The two were employed as depot manager and deputy of the Maidstone depot, which conveys money to banks and financial institutions. Jackman and Knight came under suspicion after they were allegedly seen in a car park exchanging what appeared to be a bag of money.
Police officers searched Knight’s home and found eight cash bags, each containing £500 in £2 coins. At Jackman’s house, £100 in £2 was found in a box in the garage.
The two had come up with techniques to remove money from the depot, bypassing the searches that they were subjected to when leaving the premises. It is estimated that between January 2010 and September 2011 that £90,000 went missing from the depot. Knight blamed temptation as the overriding factor.
One of the methods involved moving a loose ceiling tile, allowing access to the roof space, and leaving the bags in the space. Once through the security checks, Jackman or Knight accessed the roof space via the ladies toilets to collect the cash.
The pair also took real money, but balanced the books by sending counterfeit cash that the depot had sorted back out to financial institutions to ensure that there were no anomalies.
On 22 June 2012, the pair were charged with conspiracy to steal, being in custody of counterfeit currency and transferring criminal property.
Following a 17-month investigation, at the sentencing at Maidstone Crown Court on 21 February, Recorder Cole said the methods used showed a ‘sustained period of dishonesty’, requiring ‘some sophistication’. He added this was a case of conspiracy including not destroying counterfeit coins, making the matter far more serious than simple theft. He said, ‘Not removing counterfeit coin is damaging to the economy. You are both equally culpable and you only stopped because you were discovered.’
Investigating officer, Acting Detective Sergeant Simon Powell said: ‘This crime was carried out over a prolonged period of time and took meticulous planning and teamwork. They started taking small amounts at first but greed took over when they thought they were in such a position of authority their actions were not to be questioned. These are substantial sentences and reflect the contempt the courts rightly feel for such dishonest characters.’
Howard Dicks, South Region Operational Risk Manager at G4S, said: ‘G4S would like to thank the police for their efforts in bringing Barry Jackman and Mark Knight to justice in what has been a complex investigation. Over a number of months, the pair stole a significant amount from our coin centre in Maidstone. They went to great lengths to try and conceal their dishonesty and it was through the determination of our own compliance officers to detect the crimes and the efforts of police to build a successful case, which led to this result. G4S staff are entrusted to safeguard our customers’ assets and we will always work with the police to prosecute those few individuals who break that trust. This conviction shows that no matter what lengths criminals go to trying to evade detection, the authorities will always catch up with them.’
Posted on: 22 February 2013