A Stratford man stole thousands of dollars from his employer to "buy Friday night beers" for his workmates

Clinton Rex Hayman, 32, pleaded guilty to one charge of obtaining more than $1000 by deception when he appeared in the Hawera District Court last Tuesday.

Hayman was managing Stratford panelbeaters when the offending took place. He was convicted and remanded until December 12 when he will be sentenced.

Senior police prosecutor sergeant Steve Hickey said Hayman had been an employee of the victim for about 14 years and was promoted to manage the Stratford Panelbeaters around 18 months ago "which was when the fraudulent arrangements began".

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Hickey says the defendant would on occasions create an invoice for the client, pocket a portion of the money, change the invoice and bank the remaining portion of the money to the company.

The defendant would also get clients to pay cash while getting workers to carry out the repairs which, unknown to them, were cash jobs.

The amounts alleged kept by Hayman after working on seven different vehicles varied between $275 and $2140.55. Hayman's lawyer Neal Harding, however, said he disputed part of the summary of facts which needed to be talked about and resolved before sentencing.

Hickey said the offending occurred between February 1, 2017 and July 10 this year.

In explanation, Hayman stated he was tempted by the cash and he used the money to buy beers on Fridays for the workers.

Judge Stephen Harrop said a pre-sentence report would be made and noted Hayman had a previous sentence for a burglary.

The report would consider community and home detention and restorative justice would also be explored.

"These things are very hurtful and a breach of trust," Judge Harrop said.