Fraudster jailed after stealing thousands from Midlands hotels

28 November 2018 by
Fraudster jailed after stealing thousands from Midlands hotels

A fraudster who cheated a succession of employers, including three Midlands hotels, has been jailed.

James Leete pleaded guilty to eight offences of fraud and theft involving many thousands of pounds, and also attempted to keep his freedom by telling the judge on oath that he had got a new job.

Leete worked as a receptionist at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cheltenham and cheated the hotel out of £9,200 by making ‘refunds' to his own credit card.

Leete also admitted to stealing a Volkswagen Golf from a previous employer, V12 Sports and Classics in Hinckley, Leicestershire, and the theft of items of post belonging to his landlord, including a Coutts bank chequebook and statements. Wolfe said Leetes had four previous convictions for seven offences.

Probation officer Joanne Hall told the judge at Gloucester Crown Court she had interviewed Leete about the offence and he displayed "very little remorse". "He was funding a lifestyle he believed he was entitled to," she said.

Stating that Leete showed "no victim empathy", she said: "His thinking, behaviour and attitudes concern me. He reverts back to type when he believes he needs money for a home, to furnish a flat or pay debts."

Leete himself then went to the witness box and told the judge, under oath, that a company that ran a ‘rehabilitation of offenders scheme' was prepared to employ him. He added that the job was dependent on the outcome of the sentence hearing. This led the judge to adjourn to check the employment offer.

Under half an hour later, his lawyer Steven Young approached the judge and said Leete had confessed to him that he had lied and there was no job offer.

Judge Ian Lawrie QC jailed Leete for a total of 21 months, telling him he was lucky not to be charged with an extra offence of perjury.

He said: "You are going to have to reflect upon your offending and become less of a disappointment to your parents and yourself.

"You lied before the court under oath, but as you admitted it swiftly, I pull back from referring you to the police for perjury.

"I suspect you panicked, and when you panic, your default setting is dishonesty."

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