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HMA v Eric Lavender


Oct 15, 2021

At Edinburgh Sheriff Court today Sheriff Kenneth Campbell QC imposed a Community Payback Order with a supervision requirement, 200 hours unpaid work a Restriction of Liberty Order and a compensation order in the amount of £38,960, on Eric Lavender after he pled guilty to embezzlement.

On sentencing Sheriff Kenneth Campbell QC made the following statement in court:

"On 9 September, you pled guilty to a charge of embezzlement of £38,960.28 from your former employer, Interserve, between 1 February 2016 and 10 February 2017.

I heard a detailed agreed narrative of how you used the identities of applicants for employment to create false employment records and caused funds to be paid to an account you controlled.
Financial crime is not victimless crime. 

In addition to the losses to your former employer, which indirectly affect the livelihoods of other people, I also heard that your actions stealing the identity of one of the people who applied for a job caused her real difficulty when she was subject to investigation about social security benefits relating to a serious illness some time later. 

It was only because of this that your conduct came to light.
I now have the benefit of a Criminal Justice Social Work report. I have also seen the testimonials produced on your behalf by members of your extended family.
This is a case which crosses the threshold where the court must consider a custodial sentence.
This was a deliberate and carefully planned crime. The purpose, so it is said, was to fund building of a house. You deceived your former employer and stole the personal details of several innocent people.
I take account of the fact you have no previous convictions. I am also told you have no other matters pending before the court.
You have accepted full responsibility for this offence, and I am told you are genuinely remorseful. I accept that.
I take account of your positive employment record.
I also take account of the fact you have pled guilty at the earliest opportunity, and I am told you are in a position to make repayment of a substantial amount of the money you embezzled.
Having considered the Criminal Justice Social Work report and what has been said on your behalf today, I am satisfied that on balance there is an alternative to custody and that the public interest is served by a robust community-based disposal.

I will impose a Community Payback Order (CPO) with a number of elements:

  • a supervision requirement of 18 months
  • a requirement to carry out 200 hours unpaid work in 18 months, which I have modified from 300 hours to reflect the timing of the plea.
I will also impose a Restriction of Liberty Order (ROLO) - that will be for 8 months, which I have modified from 12 months to reflect the timing of the plea, and will require you to be in your residential address 8pm-6am 7 days per week, the timing adjusted to allow you to continue to work.

I will impose a compensation order for payment to your former employer, Interserve, in the amount of £38,960. I will submissions about a schedule for payment."

October 15, 2021