A DEPARTMENT store worker cheated his employer out of money by completing phantom refunds on the sly over one-and-a-half months.
Nicholas Sage, of Trevone Gardens, Pinner, worked at the John Lewis branch at Brent Cross Shopping Centre where made secret refund credits to the tune of £7,082 into his own bank account for goods he never actually purchased.
The 18-year-old - who said on photo-sharing application Instagram he was a salesman in the electrical department for the company - pulled the scam between February 1 and March 14.
Sage admitted fraud by false representation at Hendon Magistrates’ Court on May 1.
He reappeared there on Friday and was sentenced to 16 weeks' imprisonment, suspended for 18 months.
Sage must carry out 100 hours' unpaid work and owes £5,000 compensation to John Lewis.
On the eve of sentencing, Sage posted a message on Twitter referring to a passage of the Bible, Matthew 18:21, which says: “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me?’”
A John Lewis spokeswoman said: "The incidents involved fictitious refunds not genuine goods, and no customer transactions were affected.
"The incidents occurred between February 2 and March 12 and were picked up by our own routine safety measures.
"We have to allow time to investigate these incidents thoroughly before intervening, and as soon as we could be confident of the situation, we took immediate action. "