A Jaguar Land Rover worker who stole £82,000 in parts to support his grieving family has been spared jail after a judge branded the case ‘tragic’.
Patrick McCusker, 51, was considered to be a ‘loyal’ servant of the car manufacturer for 17 years.
But after the death of his brother, he promised to support his sibling’s family financially, even buying Christmas presents for the children.
The 51-year-old, from Quinton, pocketed more than 150 rear reversing cameras to sell on to a person in the pub offering them £20 each in order to make extra cash.
The thefts were also driven by his spiralling alcohol and gambling addictions, which he had turned to as coping mechanisms.
McCusker’s bosses confronted him after watching him pocket the equipment at work.
When he was arrested he told officers he had been trying to raise enough money to buy gifts for his late brother’s children.
Prosecutor Andrew Tucker said: “It was noticed by staff at JLR that company property was going missing, in particular some rear car reversing cameras.
“The following day Mr McCusker was seen by members of management putting cameras in his pocket.
“He was confronted and he admitted possession of 18 cameras he had on him at the time. He said it was a one-off to support his family.
“He was arrested and told police he wanted to provide his brother’s children with Christmas presents.”
The court heard McCusker had previous offences for theft including stealing post whilst working for Royal Mail at a much younger age.
Olivia Beesley, defending, stated he was ‘remorseful’ and that last November was a ‘period of his life where mistakes were made’.
“Up until this point he was a loyal employee, he’s ashamed of his actions and ashamed of betraying his job, a job he came to love,” she said.
Ms Beesley stated McCusker was very close with is brother and initially sought counselling after his death before turning to drink and gambling ‘as a form of self medication’.
She added: “He wanted to be financially supportive for the family down to the detail that they had Christmas presents.
“He knows this is a poor example for them and he’s possibly done more to hinder them than help them. He is held in high regard by his friends and even his manager.”
Passing sentence, Judge Sarah Buckingham described the case as “tragic” and noted McCusker has been struggling to find work since.
Judge Buckingham said: “In this tragic case you have shown genuine remorse and the consequences are going to follow you. At the age of 51 you are finding it hard to get work and you are doing everything to put things right.
“There’s nothing to be gained by imposing what would inevitably be a relatively short prison sentence. It is better that it is hanging over your head as a warning.”
McCusker, of Birmingham, admitted theft by an employee.
He was sentenced to six and a half months imprisonment suspended for six months and must carry out 30 days of rehabilitation activity and complete 100 hours of unpaid work.