AN EMPLOYEE who ordered £8,000 worth of electrical cable purporting it was for company contracts sold it on for his own benefit.

Luke Nicholls, who was employed as an electrician by Merseyside firm A and B Engineering, placed orders for cabling with Daton Electrical in Leigh.

He claimed it was for his firm but he turned up and signed for it in a false name, said Harry Pepper, prosecuting.

Nicholls put through references for non-existent jobs but after three weeks his deceit came to light.

When interviewed 27-year-old Nicholls said he had been using the cable to do "foreigners" but Liverpool Crown Court heard that he now admits selling it because of his gambling debts and drink problems.

Nicholls, of Porterfield Drive, Tyldesley, pleaded guilty to theft between November 8 and November 30 last year.

He was sentenced today, Tuesday, to four months imprisonment suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work and pay £1,000 compensation.

Ben Jones, defending, said that Nicholls has no previous convictions and regretted his behaviour. He is now in new employment, he added.