From today’s Herald
A man who downloaded music videos and pornography on his work computer has been convicted of theft from his employers.
Daniel Davies, 40, who was sacked from his job at Poster Faktory for his actions, was found guilty at the Whangarei District Court yesterday of theft.
He was convicted and ordered to pay $130 court costs, despite protests from his lawyer that the penalty was too harsh for the crime.
Davies’ lawyer, David Grindle, said the theft was similar to an employee using a company telephone for a personal call or a company car for personal use after work hours.
He asked Judge John McDonald for a discharge without conviction, saying a conviction would be a barrier to Davies’ new job as an alarm technician. “The consequences of a conviction are out of all proportion to the gravity of the offences.”
However, Judge McDonald declined, saying the offending was theft from the employer, and serious.
Poster Faktory owners Ian and Yvonne Clapperton agreed.
Mrs Clapperton said the case was more complicated than an employee simply looking at the internet during work – “we have no problem with that“. Davies had been warned about downloading on the company computer but continued to do so anyway, she said.
His actions came to her attention when Telecom called her to say the monthly internet budget had been blown on music downloads.
Mrs Clapperton said Davies was told that downloading music on the company computer was not acceptable. His office key was confiscated so he could not return at night to use the computer.
After that incident Davies contacted Telecom, saying he was an authorised user, she said. He was given access to monitor how much internet access was being used. She said he increased the limit then monitored it each month, downloading music and pornography but stopping just before the limit was reached so it did not come to anyone’s attention.
New Zeal Congratulations to the Clappertons and Judge Mcdonald. Theft is theft and this was a very clear cut case.
I won’t be employing, Davies’ lawyer, David Grindle in a hurry. He compares Davies’ offending to misuse of a company cell phone or company car. Implying that this makes it OK.
I take the opposite tack. I think people who knowingly misuse cellphones and cars and other similar rorts should also be prosecuted for theft.
What’s the difference between stealing $10 per day from your employer’s cashbox and clocking up a similar amount in private cell phone calls or petrol and wear and tear on a vehicle?