A MANAGER “abused his position” to fraudulently add his own bank details to invoices leading clients to pay him £15,000 directly for services.

Sean Northfield, 30, of Tintern Avenue, Westcliff was working for ST Manufacturing when he altered invoices so at least two firms paid money into his personal bank account.

He then left the business and it was only when other workers chased payments that they found the handwritten invoices with Northfield’s own bank account details.

He was handed a suspended sentence at Basildon Crown Court yesterday after previously admitting fraud.

Prosecuting Shanda McAteer said: “He had been working there for five years and was a product manager whose duties included liaising with clients and he was held in high regard by the firm owners.

“He was also good friends of the owners. Staff were chasing invoices and found firms were paying money into Mr Northfield’s own account to the total of £15,891.97.


“He told police he was doing work on his own behalf under the front of the firm as he didn’t have his own business.

“He has previous convictions but nothing relevant including driving offences. This was abuse of position and there was some planning and the firm was reimbursed thanks to insurance.”

Mitigating Craig Rush told the court Northfield had been through a tough time.

He said: “He is living with his sister and helping to care with her children as she has cancer and is having radiotherapy and he also two children himself which he sees at the same address.

“He has separated from his children’s mother, this is part of the bigger picture and he had been drinking and gambling. His life had gone off the rails causing a catastrophic fall.”

Sentencing Northfield Judge Samantha Leigh said: “There were handwritten invoices directing the money into your own account. This was not sophisticated and there will be no compensation and I am conscious you are a carer for your sister and help to care for her children.”

He was handed an one year sentence suspended for 18 months and a six month curfew as well as paying £200 costs.