A man defrauded his employer out of  £31,000 in order to fund his expensive cocaine habit.

When Craig Oswald Stockham was asked by police where the money had gone, he said it had “gone up his nose” and there was nothing left.

Stockham, 36, of Green Bank Villas, Church Street, Flint, admitted that at Halkyn Street, Holywell he defrauded Ideal ICR Group Ltd out of £31,197 while in a position of trust.

Flintshire Magistrates Court heard Stockholm had a previous conviction for fraud and had been sent to prison.

His employer, who ran two companies, Arrow Fire and Arrow Secure, had known him for many years and was aware of the previous conviction but he decided to give him a chance and employed him as purchasing manager.

His £1,200 monthly salary was transferred into his personal account but prosecutor Rhian Jackson told the Mold court that after three months he started to make unauthorised payments into his account.

An investigation showed a total of 86 unauthorised transactions had taken place.

Arrested and interviewed, Stockholm said he had tried to stop but the money was spent on his cocaine habit which was costing him between £100 and £150 a day.

Solicitor Fiona Larkin, defending, told the Mold court her client was a man who had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity after he had made admissions to the police.

District judge Gwyn Jones sent the case to the crown court for sentencing next month and Stockham was bailed in the meantime.

The district judge was told an up-to-date victim statement would be sought for the sentencing hearing so the court could be aware of the effect of Stockholm’s offending on the company.