A Peterborough gym kit firm employee who stole thousands of pounds of fitness equipment was caught after advertising the goods on the internet.
Kestutis Dainauskis (38) of Fellowes Gardens, Peterborough took £9,000 of kit from Health Clubs at Home over a six month period last year.
The only concern I have, to be frank, is not whether you should go straight to prison, but whether your former employers can be given the money you owe them.District Judge Ken Sheraton
However, when his boss, Howard Braband, became suspicious, he checked on classified ads website Gumtree - where he saw some of the items for sale.
On Friday Dainauskis was given an 18 week prison sentence, suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work after he pleaded guilty to theft by employee at Peterborough Magistrates Court.
Alastair David, prosecuting, said: “The total theft was in excess of £9,000, and goods worth £2,000 have still not been recovered. “He was caught in August last year, but it had been going on for six months.
“Others were involved in the storing of the items.”
Dainauskis, who listened to the hearing through an interpreter, sobbed in the dock as the facts of the case were read out.
Defending, Jeffrey Lewis, said: “He entered his guilty plea at an early opportunity, and he is a man with no previous convictions.
“He is extremely remorseful for his actions.
“He does suffer financial hardship, and it is that financial pressure that lead him to behave in this foolish manner.”
District Judge Ken Sheraton, sentencing, said: “There are only two things in your favour - the fact you have no previous convictions, and your early guilty plea.
“The offences certainly merit a term of imprisonment. The only concern I have, to be frank, is not whether you should go straight to prison, but whether your former employers can be given the money you owe them.
“If you go straight to prison, I don’t think they will get their money back, and it is only on that basis that I suspend the sentence.”
Along with the unpaid work, Dainauskis was also ordered to pay compensation of £2,000 and costs of £85.