Delivery driver who won £100,000 on Lottery scratchcard stole £15,000 of trainers from FootAsylum, court hears
- David Swatman avoided jail after admitting to stealing the haul of costly trainers
- He snatched the shoes during delivery runs between Wales and Manchester
- The 42-year-old criminal has 22 previous convictions for 44 different offences
A thieving delivery driver who once bagged a £100,000 lottery win has avoided jail after being caught stealing a £15,000 haul of trainers.
David Swatman, formerly of Manchester, was able to walk free from court despite admitting to stealing the costly haul of shoes from his employers, FootAsylum.
The 43-year-old had previously won a small fortune on a scratchcard in 2018, vowing to use the cash to follow his beloved Liverpool FC, as he posed for pictures in a custom shirt with ‘winner’ emblazoned on the back.
But a court heard how he the former lottery winner repeatedly swiped boxes of shoes during his delivery runs from FootAsylum’s depot in north Wales to its hub in Manchester.
Swatman avoided an immediate prison sentence on Wednesday after pleading guilty to a single charge of theft worth £15,450 from between August and September 2020, with a judge saying the criminal – who has 22 previous convictions to his name – had shown ‘genuine remorse’.
‘Winner’: Convicted criminal David Swatman – who has 22 convictions to his name – avoided jail after admitting to stealing trainers worth more than £15,000, with a judge declaring the thief had shown ‘genuine remorse’. Swatman is pictured in a custom shirt after his £100k lottery scratchcard win in 2018
Prosecutor Daniel Lister told Manchester Crown Court how FootAsylum launched an investigation after discovering a deliver discrepancy on September 9, 2020.
Five parcels and two bags of trainers never arrived in Manchester after leaving the Broughton depot, the court heard.
CCTV later revealed there had been an ‘unauthorised stop’ in Bury Old Road while Swatman was at the wheel when the items were transferred into another vehicle, said Mr Lister.
The company’s probe uncovered further ‘unauthorised stops’ on August 22 and September 2 when more boxes were handed over and placed in another vehicle.
Police arrested Swatman who later admitted the thefts, estimating he had stolen about 22 boxes, each containing trainers worth up to £1,000.
The court heard the defendant had memorised an ‘encryption lock’ on the vehicles to carry out his crimes.
Swatman, now of Keighley, admitted a single charge of theft. The court was told Swatman had 22 sets of previous convictions covering 44 offences, including a drink-drive offence said to have been committed shortly after the FootAsylum thefts.
Max Saffman, defending, said his client was now working part-time as a window fitter earning about £300 per week, although he hoped to be working full time soon. He pointed to his client’s admission of guilt from the moment he was arrested.
The judge, His Honour Judge Field KC, expressed astonishment that it had taken more than two years to bring the case to court when the defendant had admitted his crime at the outset.
Champagne celebration: Swatman is pictured celebrating his £100,000 lottery win in 2018
He said the delay had been ‘extraordinary’ and meant the defendant had been living with the threat of jail throughout his wait to be sentenced.
Judge Field said: ‘It wasn’t just one theft. It was a series of thefts that occurred as long ago as the late summer of 2020 when you were working as a delivery driver for FootAsylum.
‘You used your privileged position to steal goods from your delivery vehicle for the benefit of others… It was a breach of the trust placed in you by your employers.’
The judge said there had been a ‘degree of sophistication’ although the defendant had not acted alone. The goods had ‘plainly been stolen to order’.
But Judge Field said the defendant had shown ‘genuine remorse’ and had made ‘frank admissions as soon as you were confronted’. He said Swatman had ‘taken steps to address the problems that may have led you to make the very bad decision to steal from your employer’.
The judge went on: ‘I have formed the strong view by what you have achieved over the last two-and-a-half years that there is a realistic prospect of rehabilitation in your case.’
Swatman was handed a 20-month jail sentence suspended for two years. He was also ordered to carry out five days of rehabilitation activity, to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and pay £425 prosecution costs.
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