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Council IT bod in the dock for flogging scrap work PC parts

Saving disks from scrapyard landed him on the scrapheap

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A council IT worker who flogged his employers' scrap kit on eBay for £10,000 has been ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work by a court.

Ian Holwell, 52, grabbed PCs and laptops due to be disposed by Derbyshire County Council and stripped out their parts to sell online. But he was rumbled and sacked after a whistleblower alerted his bosses.

Today, the council told The Register it would only get rid of kit that it couldn't reuse or sell without cost.

Holwell, of Chesterfield, admitted the theft and appeared at Derby Crown Court on February 15 for sentencing. Holwell was ordered to carry out 150 hours of community service, and given an 18-week jail sentence suspended for a year.

Recorder Michael Stephens told Holwell “if the employer says ‘put it in landfill and leave it to rot’, it is for them to decide. It is not for you to harvest the parts, sell them and provide an income", the Derbyshire Times reported.

According to the newspaper, auditors found Holwell had taken items “marked for disposal”: 51 tower computers and laptops were looked at by officials, who found 35 machines had either hard drives or memory devices removed.

The court was told this was the first time the IT bloke had been in trouble with the law. The council confirmed to The Reg that Holwell was given the boot last year after the two-year theft was discovered.

"This concerns old equipment that has come to the end of its economic life. Any components that can be reused - ie: screens, keyboards - are reused by us if possible," said a spokesman.

"If it can't be re-used a third party takes it away and if they can refurbish any parts and sell them then we receive a percentage of the sale. If we had gone down the route of selling off components we would have to guarantee it was safe to use and had a warranty, and this in itself would have incurred a cost." ®

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