A REDDITCH man who stole £5,500 worth of hard drives from his employers because he was struggling financially has been spared a spell behind bars.

Polish born Konrad Prusinski, aged 37, was a team leader with the Black Country based courier service but he had problems with personal debts.

To help ease his troubles he started pocketing the solid state Samsung hard drives from their Smethwick depot at the end of his shift.

But Prusinski, who linked up with an eBay account holder to sell the goods on the internet, was rumbled after a stock check, said Geoffrey Dann prosecuting.

He told Wolverhampton Crown Court the check was launched after the owner of the goods went into administration and it revealed a large number of empty boxes that should have contained the hard drives.

A full investigation then began and inquiries revealed a person selling the goods lived in the Redditch area, added Mr Dann.

That lead to Prusinski who had been in full employment since coming to the UK from Poland 14 years ago and he quickly admitted what he had been doing.

Prusinski, of Aspall Close, then handed over to investigators a bag containing nine of the stolen items after allowing them to carry out a search of his property.

Mr Dann told the court that the firm estimated around £19,000 worth of the items had been stolen but Prusinski maintained when questioned he had not taken more drives.

He added: "This cannot be proved against him so they were either stolen by others or they disappeared."

Prusinski, who is now working as a self-employed driver, admitted theft by an employee and was given a 12 month community order by Recorder Peter Ievins.

He further ruled Prusinski should have to attend a rehabilitation course on condition he paid £3,000 compensation within 14 days

The Recorder was told Prusinski who split money from the sale of the drives with the account holder had taken around 20 of the items from his employers who was based in Roebuck Lane.