Beds, Herts & Bucks

Bishop's Stortford fleet manager jailed for theft

A fleet manager of major drinks firm Diageo at Bishop's Stortford has been jailed for two years for theft.

Stephen Hopkins, 39, stole 17 cars, with a value of £224,000, from the company over more than four years, St Albans Crown Court heard.

Hopkins, formerly of King George Avenue, Watford, now of Hawthorns Meadow, East Cowes, Isle of Wight, pleaded guilty to theft and fraud.

He was of previous good character, the court was told.

The court heard that the father-of-two, who had left school at 16, had worked at the company for 12 years.

Since his arrest he had moved to the Isle of Wight and lives with his mother, the court was told.

Jailing him, Judge Marie Catterson accepted he was remorseful but said: "This was substantial, deliberate thieving. It was the grossest possible breach of trust."

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