A man who stole £58,000 from the Nottinghamshire garden centre and swimming pool business where he worked is now behind bars.
Nottingham Crown Court heard that John Fagan, 64, had defrauded Northern Garden Supplies and Northern Swimming Pools of Worksop between 2009 and 2010 after being placed in a position of trust by the businesses.
Fagan pleaded guilty to fraud and dishonesty and was sentenced to two years in jail for the first offence and 18 months for the second, the sentences to run concurrently.
Fagan had been on the staff of Northern Garden Supplies from the early days of its establishment nearly 40 years ago by June Richardson and her late husband Derek. He began as a handyman but progressed to being in charge of the finances and running the swimming pool business, which was added later.
Mrs Richardson took Fagan on despite the fact that he had been a sexual offender, but under his financial management the garden centre's performance began to deteriorate and bills were left unsettled.
In due course an investigation was mounted by accountants, who found that Fagan had been paying money into his own account. Fagan, who tried to prevent the truth from coming out by changing computer passwords, claimed he had needed the money because he was being blackmailed.