NHS employee jailed for selling stolen work laptops worth £18,000 online

Credit: North Wales Police

An IT engineer who sold his employer’s brand new NHS laptops on E-bay has today been sentenced to 20 months at Mold Crown Court.

An allegation about Neil Roberts 38, of Oak Meadows, Tanyfron first came to light via an anonymous tip-off to North Wales Police.

The investigation uncovered that Roberts had used his full-time NHS position as Computer Information Technology Engineer for BCUHB, based at Wrexham Maelor Hospital in Wrexham to steal a large quantity of laptops.

He was supposed to install these laptops in various NHS sites across North Wales, but instead installed old ones from storage.

He then sold 32 of the brand new laptops on eBay, up to a value of £18,000.

The defendant in this case had taken full advantage of his position within the hospital to carry out and disguise his fraudulent behaviour over a number of years, including presenting himself as a reputable seller of computer hardware to unsuspecting customers online.

Inspector Adam Williams

Roberts was arrested at work and interviewed under caution in February 2017, but he denied he had stolen any computers, giving a "no comment" interview.

However, a search of his house turned up a large amount of computer equipment. On conducting further enquiries it transpired he had sold a substantial amount of computer hardware online that was traced directly back to BCUHB.

In January 2019 at Mold Crown Court, Roberts pleaded not guilty to a charge of Fraud by Abuse of Position, contrary to Section 4 of the Fraud Act 2006 – but in June he changed his plea to guilty, on the basis that he was not responsible for diverting computers away from other employees. On submission of further evidence, this basis for plea was abandoned by the defendant.

Roberts was dismissed from his job.