Carlisle salesman defrauded firm of £34k to pay loan sharks

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image captionAnthony Joseph Crangle was jailed for 20 months at Carlisle Crown Court

A salesman defrauded his employer of £34,000 after developing an "unhealthy relationship" with drugs, gambling and loan sharks, a court has heard.

Anthony Joseph Crangle, 25, admitted fraud after forging fake invoices to take £34,089 from plumbing merchant Crossling Ltd.

Carlisle Crown Court heard he had been subjected to threats after borrowing money from loan sharks.

Crangle, of Gloucester Road, Carlisle, was jailed for 20 months.

The court heard Crangle was given a car and phone when he started the "good job" in Kingstown, Carlisle, in January 2018.

But during a period of about six weeks to two months, Crangle created 42 bogus invoices using customers' accounts to place orders for products, mainly either Worcester or Baxi boilers, which he took away from the branch.

'Loss of trust'

Crangle was caught after customers contacted the company to query invoices for goods they had neither ordered nor received.

Prosecutor Helena Williams said: "He told the directors that he had a problem with gambling. He had borrowed some money and had been unable to pay it back so he had turned to stealing items from the warehouse."

Jeff Smith, defending, revealed Crangle had been subjected to threats and coercion after borrowing cash from loan sharks.

Crangle also admitted possessing cocaine found by police after he was arrested.

Judge Nicholas Barker said Crangle had an "unhealthy relationship" with drugs and gambling and his actions had caused Crossling to lose "loyal and long-term customers" over "their loss of trust".

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