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Melksham fraudster spared jail again
Updated 12:00pm Friday 2nd May 2014 in Melksham
Fraudster Miles Eglin who stole hundreds of pounds worth of goods in a 'sophisticated' piece of shoplifting while on a suspended sentence has again been spared jail.
Motor trader Eglin loaded goods worth £340 into bags in his supermarket trolley before leaving without paying.
As the 45-year-old made his way to a nearby cigarette kiosk he chatted to the CCTV operator in a bid to find out whether he was suspected of any wrongdoing.
But he was unaware a posse of store staff were waiting for him outside having watched him carefully loading items into bags to make it look like he had paid.
Eglin, of Shaw Hill, Melksham, pleaded not guilty to theft but was convicted by magistrates following a trial.
The case had been sent back to Swindon Crown Court today as the latest offence took place during the six month suspended sentence imposed last October.
It had been imposed after he failed to pay £53,000 to a car auction after writing a series of cheques which bounced.
Now after hearing he is back working, earning about £2,000 a month, and topping up his wages with lodgers in his house, a judge decided not the activate the jail term.
Rob Welling, prosecuting, told the court that how staff at Asda in Melksham saw him carry out the scam on December 30.
When he was caught he tried to say he had made a mistake and had meant to pay even though he didn't have the money on him.
Chris Smyth, defending, said his client had completed all of the 150 hours of unpaid work he was ordered to do under the suspended sentence.
He said he appeared to have his business back up and running and was trying to get his life back in order.
Passing sentence Judge Tim Mousley QC said: "The circumstance of that offence indicate that there was a degree of sophistication and professionalism involved.
"Though I accept this appears to be the first time you have committed an offence of shoplifting.
"What you did on that occasion revealed the same dishonest personality traits which you had deployed in different circumstances when committing the offence of fraud.
"I have to consider the effect of a custodial sentence on these steps you have taken to put your life in order since October last year."
He ordered he do a further 150 hours unpaid work for breaching the suspended sentence plus another 100 for the theft and pay a £60 surcharge.
The judge also made a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act in relation to the fraud.
He ruled Eglin benefited from crime to the sum of £52,923 but only had £20,000 of realisable assets, mainly in the form of furniture, and gave him six months to pay it or face a six month jail term.
Eglin bounce the cheques on Aston Barclay Westbury auction house for cars he bought on tick in the running of his business.