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Eighteen grand for just two days as a forklift driver is not a bad job if you can get it – and that's exactly what a Corby dad was paid to fraudulently claim he worked for nearly six months in just two days.
37-year-old Paul Blades appeared on January 2, 2019 for his first day at work as a forklift driver at a Bloor Homes construction site. He was hired by Think Recruitment for this role.
He only stayed two days before he got sick. However, through June 22 of this year, he continued to fill out timesheets between 24 and 57 hours a week, forging the foreman's signature and mailing it to his recruiters.
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But Howe Crescent's Blades got rumbled when he failed to submit a timesheet and questions were asked almost six months later. Think had to reimburse Bloor Homes for £ 18,000.
The defendant, who had no previous convictions or previous warnings, was arrested and charged with fraud. He admitted his guilt at a hearing.
He appeared at Northampton Crown Court on Thursday (February 4) to be tried.
The court heard his arrest last January and admitted the crime when questioned by police.
He said he was "in a bad place" and used the money to pay off gambling debts.
The Crown stated that they will seek a confiscation order from the court under the Proceeds From Crime Act for the full amount stolen.
Before the court, Blades, who was not legally represented, said: "I want to apologize for what happened.
"I've made my life better. I have a really, really good job and I'm on a trial period for it. I'm going to be a site manager.
"It would set me back a lot if I went to jail. I apologize very much for what I did. I sat up and my dad helped me a lot while playing.
"Thirty-eight years and I've never had trouble with the police."
Her Honorary Judge Rebecca Crane said, "You only worked a few days and then sent a message saying you were sick and would return to work. You continued to submit timesheets. You were contacted regularly to check that you were there , and you said you were.
"You had a serious gambling addiction. If I were to give a prison sentence, it would have a significant impact on your children."
Blades was sentenced to an 18-month collective injunction, including a condition of doing 150 hours of unpaid work.