A MAN in desperate financial straits defrauded his employers, a court heard.

Meurig Rhys-Jones, 37, issued false receipts to two customers who bought items at Demon Tweeks on Wrexham Industrial Estate.

It meant he was able to pocket £150, Wrexham Magistrates’ Court at Mold was told.

The falsification came to light when a customer who had bought an item for his car returned to the premises to exchange it. It turned out the receipt he had been given was for an item previously sold to another customer.

A management investigation began, it turned out Rhys-Jones had done it twice and he was dismissed.

Rhys-Jones, of Erw Wladys, Glyn Ceiriog, admitted two fraud charges on October 18 and October 25.

He was placed on a 12 month community order and must carry out 120 hours unpaid work.

Magistrates ordered him to pay £150 compensation and £85 prosecution costs.

Jane Myles, defending, said Rhys-Jones had acted in financial desperation.

He had been seriously injured in a road accident a few years ago, had been unable to work, had run up debts and now had a debt of some £14,000.

The offences occurred at a time when his father and son were having their birthdays and he had no money to buy presents.

He committed the frauds intending to pay the money back at the end of the month but they came to light before he could do so.

Rhys-Jones, said Miss Myles, was a man of good character who was ashamed and embarrassed by what he had done.