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‘Give me my P45, I f**ked up’ jeweller tells boss after he’s caught stealing £600 precious gold ring at work

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Jagdeep Panesar told his boss ‘Give me my P45, I f**ked up’ after was caught trying to sneak a stolen £600 ring onto his boss’ chair, moments after claiming ignorance about the missing jewellery, Inner London Crown court heard on Tuesday (May 29).

The 39-year-old dad, of Bishops Way in Egham, Surrey, was employed at The Goldsmiths’ Company Assay Office on Gutter Lane in the City of London where he was responsible for assessing and hallmarking precious metals for customers. On November 3 2022, Panesar was marking a precious gold ring, worth between £400-600, when CCTV cameras spotted him putting it in a black box.

When asked by his boss, Adam Phillips, about the missing gold band, Panesar said he had ‘no knowledge’. But as prosecutor Kevin Walsh told the court, Panesar walked into the office with his hand inside his jacket and dropped a tissue onto a chair. After Mr Phillips spotted the tissue, which contained the missing ring, Panesar crumbled and told his boss ‘Give me my P45, I f**ked up’.

Mr Phillips reported the incident to police and Panesar attended a voluntary interview on December 13 2022. At the police station he told officers ‘it was not his intention to steal, but he panicked’ and claimed he suffered PTSD. Panesar denied the offence of theft by an employee and opted for a jury trial, but he reversed his pleas at a pre-trial hearing in April after a bad character application was made.

Had the trial gone ahead, jurors would have heard about Panesar’s dodgy stint at a supermarket. Working at Tesco in 2009, the thieving goldsmith was cautioned for stealing a laptop. Other allegations, of an acquisitive nature, were made against him in 2022, which he admitted this April, even though they never ended in charges or a conviction, Mr Walsh told the court.

In a victim impact statement, Panesar’s boss Mr Phillips said Panesar’s sacking had led to longer wait times for customers, due to the sudden shortage of qualified staff. It meant some orders were not ready in time for Christmas.

‘A breach of trust’

Defence counsel Notu Hoon urged the judge to impose a suspended sentence, outlining Panesar’s care obligations to his wife, child, and ‘frail’ grandmother. “He has duties beyond the normal family man. He is the sole breadwinner of his family,” said Mr Hoon.

The barrister also argued his client should be spared the prosecution costs totalling £4,380, as the crime itself was financially motivated. Mr Hoon confirmed Panesar has since regained employment, for £15 an hour, as a jeweller with TGC London.

Judge Ian Darling reprimanded Panesar for his crooked ways, but opted to spare him an immediate jail sentence with a 20 week sentence suspended for one year.

“The fact you have pleaded guilty to stealing [the ring], highlights the seriousness of your offending because in circumstances where you were supposed to be safeguarding an item, you stole it in a breach of trust,” said Judge Darling.

“There is a lot at stake for you Mr Panesar, and I am prepared to show you a degree of mercy. But that would be tempered with a sentence of imprisonment, that is richly deserved, but one that can be suspended… I can see no useful gain for society or your ex-employer by putting you into jail.”

The judge also ordered him to do 100 hours of unpaid work, but spared him any financial costs so to avoid another similar offence. “This offence was financially driven, and, in those circumstances, that would be rather too big a stick to solve that problem,” added Judge Darling.

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