Littlehampton man jailed for stealing gifts for soldiers in Afghanistan

Paul Embery, 41, of Holmes Way, Littlehampton, was jailed for theft
Paul Embery, 41, of Holmes Way, Littlehampton, was jailed for theft

A LITTLEHAMPTON man who stole ‘significant quantity’ of electrical goods – most of which were meant to be presents for US soldiers in the Middle East – was jailed yesterday (Friday, May 2).

Paul Embery, 41, of Holmes Way, Littlehampton, and Kieran McKeown, of Ashford, Surrey, were both sentenced to 18 months at Isleworth Crown Court, having both previously plead guilty to the offence.

It followed an extensive investigation by police officers based at Heathrow Airport to uncover the crime.

The men were arrested after police began an investigation into the theft of cargo items passing through the airport destined for overseas locations, including the Middle East and Afghanistan.

As a result of the operation, Embery and his supervisor, McKeown – who worked at the airport – were arrested on suspicion of theft on December 17, 2013, and a significant quantity of high value electrical items and other property was recovered, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said.

Embery was subsequently charged with five counts of theft by employee and two counts of possession of criminal property.

McKeown was charged with two counts of theft by employee and one count of possessing criminal property

The Metropolitan spokesman added: “Their offences – which occurred between November and December 2013 – incorporated a significant breach of trust in the roles they performed within the airport.

“They orchestrated a large number of premeditated thefts from the airport.

“Their crime was made worse in that a proportion of the mail intercepted and stolen was destined for US military personnel serving in the Middle East.”

Detective Inspector Ian Robinson, said: “This case highlights the commitment of SO18 - Aviation Security to combat criminality at Heathrow, particularly involving airport employees.

“We hope this will deter anyone from committing crime in and around the confines of Heathrow Airport.”