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Fraudster Darren Carvill stole more than £250,000 from Strood employer Mr Clutch to blow on drugs and prostitutes

By Paul Hooper

A miserable accounts worker – bullied by workmates – ripped off £250,000 from his bosses... and blew it on drugs and escort parties.

Lonely Darren Carvill stole the money while working for national car servicing company "Mr Clutch" at its head office in Strood.

In two-days, the 38-year-old took more than £170,000 which he then spent on glamorous parties with high-class hookers and drugs.

Darren Carvill became more addicted to the nightlife he used as an escape
Darren Carvill became more addicted to the nightlife he used as an escape

Carvill claimed that when he realised he would be caught he wanted to "go out with a bang".

And he revealed he did it...because he was suffering from low self-esteem.

His barrister James Ross told Maidstone Crown Court: “It was a weekend of madness”.

Carvill, 38, of King Edward Road, Maidstone, said initially he planned to repay the money that he was using to deal with his “sham and unhappy life”

But Mr Ross added: “He was thinking the money would be paid back but it was deluded thinking that he was merely borrowing the money.”

Carvill has now been jailed for two and a half years after admitting 18 fraud charges.

And it was revealed the man, who paid wages and bills for the company, had previous convictions for ripping off a previous employer.

In 2008 he was given a suspended year jail sentence at Maidstone Crown Court for embezzling a travel company out of money.

Mr Clutch in Rochester where Carvill worked
Mr Clutch in Rochester where Carvill worked

And Carvill’s latest fraud’s almost brought the Mr Clutch company – with its numerous franchises – to its knees.

The crooked worker transferred a total of £262,234.61 from multiple franchises which he disguised as payments to genuine suppliers and traders.

Prosecutor Bridget Todd told how one of the directors Alfred Abdulla revealed how because of the fraud, some employees went without pay for FIVE months.

The company also had problems with its VAT and pensions and was “close to going bankrupt” and face “many years” repaying money borrowed to pay its bills.

In his victim impact statement, Mr Abdulla said: “Because of what he did I could not pay two of my suppliers for two months.

"This caused a problem with HMRC and VAT returns were not paid on time.”

He said the company was reported to the Pensions Regulator and his employees “had no pay for five months because of the defendant’s actions.”

Mr Abdulla said Carvill had been regarded “as a respected and trusted employee” during the four years he worked for the company.

"He was thinking the money would be paid back but it was deluded thinking that he was merely borrowing the money" - Barrister James Ross

Company bosses also revealed they had to borrow money from family members to avoid going bankrupt.

It was discovered in August that numerous transactions had been made into a bank account for Euro Car Parts, which is a genuine supplier, but this account was not linked to them.

Mr Ross said that initially Carvill stole £40,000 but then repaid £36,500.

By October 2018 he took another £60,000 hoping it could be repaid “but it was clearly deluded thinking”, he added.

Then in August last year, the accounts worker took £72,000, followed by £40,000, £10,000, another £10,000 and £12,000.

He added: “He has had a very unhappy life. For most of his life he has been bullied. He has suffered from very low self-esteem and social awkwardness.

“He says he was a good employee and worked long hours and did good work. He says his bosses had shown them nothing but kindness.

“But other than the owners, there was at least one person who subjected him to ridicule and caused a downward spiral.”

Carvill was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court today
Carvill was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court today

Mr Ross added that Carvill was increasingly unhappy at work and he became more and more addicted to his nightlife, involving an escort agency with sex and drugs and things of that nature.

“Although there was an element of that, what he was paying for was kindness and popularity and company.”

He said Carvill enjoyed being surrounded by “glamorous” people and he became more and more addicted to high class escort parties.”

Judge Philip St John-Stevens told him he had “pushed the self-destruct” button but accepted his remorse was genuine.

Carvill now faces a financial investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act to try to recover the missing cash.

To read more of our in depth coverage of all of the major trials coming out of crown and magistrates' courts across the county, click here.

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