A Tenby cabbie has pleaded guilty to a charge of stealing after finding a gold Cloggau wrist watch in the back of his work vehicle and attempting to sell it on eBay.
Thirty-four-year-old Mark Ian Powell, of Jameston, pleaded guilty at Haverfordwest Magistrates Court to the offence which took place on 15 September 2018.
As reported in the Tenby Observer, Powell was handed a 12 month community order, which was to include 150 hours of unpaid work.
He was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £85 and an £85 victim surcharge.
Vaughan Pritchard-Jones, prosecuting, told the court that a female passenger reported that her watch had fallen off in the back of the taxi she had been travelling.
Addressing the court, Pritchard-Jones said: “Mr. Powell who was the next driver to take over taxi duties for this vehicle, must have found the watch and instead of handing it into the firm’s control, he kept it.
“He attempted to give it to his wife as a gift but she didn’t like it, so he then tried to sell it on eBay to make some money off it.
“The complainant saw the item for sale online and recognised it, then got a family member to contact the seller and once they got Mr. Powell’s details, they passed them onto the police.
“Initially Mr. Powell denied the offence and said that he had bought the watch legitimately himself and that it was just a coincidence.
“This case is aggravated as it is a breach of trust from someone in his position. Quite often things are left in the back of a taxi by mistake - but customers don’t expect the drivers to pocket such items for themselves,” added Mr. Pritchard-Jones.
Mike Kelleher, defending, said that his client had made a ‘huge mistake’ which was out of character by not handing the watch in and instead choosing to take it home.
“This has been hanging over his head for some time and caused him some considerable grief. The watch has been returned unharmed. He has pleaded guilty to the matter which is made rather more serious by the breach of trust aspect,” he added.
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