Suspended jail term for cleaner who stole from planes at Gatwick

Court news
Court news

An aircraft cleaner who stole electronic goods left behind by passengers at Gatwick was given a suspended jail sentence.

Marco Andre, 42, of Snowdrop Close, Crawley, pleaded guilty to 13 counts of theft by finding and was given a six month jail sentence, suspended for two years, with 100 hours of unpaid work.

Prosecutor Charlotte Morrish told Hove Trial Centre that Andre had been employed by a cleaning company for ten years, working his way up to becoming a cleaner supervisor team leader.

All team leaders carried a radio, she said, and were supposed to report any items left behind by passengers immediately, so they could be collected by the airline.

Andre was caught after he took an iPhone which was traced to his home using a ‘find my phone’ app.

A police search revealed mobile phones, iPads, camera memory cards, headphones and a fob watch, worth a total of around £2,500.

Charmaine Wilson, representing Andre, said he had no previous convictions.

“He dedicated a great deal of his life to the job, and to supporting his family,” she said.

“He accepts that his behaviour was unacceptable, and his remorse is indicated by his guilty plea.

“He tells me that over the offending period there were significant debts.”

She added: “This is a family that’s teetering on the breadline. If they have to turn to benefits then there’s a cost to society for that.”

Sentencing, Recorder James Mulholland told Andre: “Over a period in excess of two years, you used your position as a cleaner supervisor team leader at Gatwick Airport to steal items of property left on the plane.

“You breached the trust placed in you by your employer and took those items.”

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