An agent has spoken of her devastation after a trusted employee admitted to stealing over £300,000 from her business.
Lettings manager Robert Parker, 28, had been treated ‘like a son’ by Nina Chivers.
At Cardiff Crown Court, he admitted one count of theft from Nina Estate Agents in Barry, South Glamorgan, between 2010 and 2017.
Mrs Chivers had given Parker a job in 2009 after he dropped out of university.
But he soon started stealing on a huge scale.
The court heard that Parker admitted stealing £302,000 but has denied taking a further £223,000.
Outside the court, Mrs Chivers said that she had known Parker since he was 13, when his mother Diane and she had worked at another estate agency.
She told the local paper: “Diane decided to come with me and to start work for me as we got on so well and had a close friendship.
“He started university and after his first year found university wasn’t for him.”
She had offered him a job with prospects and training.
She said he used to refer to her as his second mother. He had been a regular visitor to their home, went on family cycle rides, and her husband had helped him in various home-building related projects as he grew up. She had trusted him implicitly.
However, Parker had manipulated records, enabling him to steal and move money unnoticed.
A further hearing has been scheduled for January 29.