Carpet-layer admits stealing from boss

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A Queenstown carpet-layer stole more than $4000 from his Mosgiel-based former employer so he could pay some “urgent” bills.

Brent Andrew John McKay, 41, pleaded guilty to two charges of theft against Layiton Flooring Limited in Queenstown District Court today.

McKay had been working as the company’s Queenstown branch manager since September 2010.

The court heard that the Lake Hayes Estate man took money for two separate carpet-laying jobs that was meant to go to Layiton Flooring and deposited it into personal bank accounts.

In January this year, McKay hand-wrote a quote for $936 to carpet a Lumsden woman’s home. He completed the job over two days and received a cheque worth $900 for “Lay It On” and $36 in cash.

On January 17, McKay took the cheque to Westpac bank in Frankton and opened up a new business account named “Lay It On”, and deposited the cheque. Once the cheque was cleared Mckay withdrew all the money in two separate cash transactions.

A few days later, McKay deposited $663 cash into Layiton Flooring Ltd’s business bank account, keeping $276 for himself.

Also that month, McKay was asked to re-carpet floors at Adventure Queenstown Hostel and Chalet. McKay provided a quote of $4124.15 which was accepted by the hostel.

A week after laying the carpet, McKay sent an email to the hostel manager saying he’d discounted the price to $3237.20. He asked for the money to be paid into his personal bank account.

Layiton Flooring owner Bob Crosbie fired McKay in February. A few days later, the manager of Adventure Queenstown Hostel and Chalet deposited the money into McKay’s account. McKay made no effort to give the money to Layiton Flooring.

In March, McKay became aware that police were investigating the matter so he arranged for $1720 to be paid to Carpet Court Queenstown for the supply of carpet to the hostel. About the same time McKay paid $722 to his former employer.

“In explanation the defendant stated that he needed money to pay some urgent bills,” prosecuting sergeant Ian Collin says.

Judge Kevin Phillips convicted McKay and remanded him on bail for sentencing on September 10. The judge ordered a pre-sentence report exploring the possibility of a sentence of home detention.

Youth drink-driving

A 17-year-old Queenstown girl has been disqualified from driving for four months after taking the wheel while under the influence of alcohol.

Justine Budd, a local housekeeper, was randomly stopped by police while driving on Shotover Street on July 12 at 11.30pm.

She produced an excess breath alcohol reading of 179 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath.

Budd admitted drinking a litre of beer earlier in the evening. Judge Phillips told Budd “it must have been a large litre of beer” and warned her against offending again. He also fined her $200 plus $132.89 in court costs.