Exposed: The great Falmouth car park swindle
A FORMER parking security manager swindled the owner of a Falmouth car park out of more than £10,000 by pocketing money collected from pay and display machines.
Kristden Kinson, 39, formerly of Truro, had a contract with owner David Proctor, of New Cornwall Developments, to collect the money from its machines at Discovery Quay Car Park, but failed to hand it over.
Kinson, then manager of KBT Cornwall Ltd, also tricked his employer, Brian Cook, into handing over money for non-existent contracts. He has admitted stealing about £40,000 from him.
Kinson was due to face five charges of fraud totalling £53,758.45 between June 14 and December 31 last year at Truro Crown Court on Tuesday, but instead pleaded guilty to three charges of theft of about £50,000.
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KBT operates at car parks throughout Cornwall, including Truro and the Falmouth site.
Kinson, who was suspended in December last year, had been in charge of running some of them.
At that time, the West Briton (see front page, above) reported complaints of £60 fines being issued at the Discovery Quay car park while the pay-and-display machines were broken, so users could not get tickets from them, and without the owner's permission. Several victims reported receiving the unauthorised fines.
Kinson told the paper at the time that he had reported the faulty machines to the owner, but "still had a job to do".
After this week's hearing, Detective Constable Dave Fortey, said: "He took money off Mr Cook, informing him that he needed money to expand the business with various contracts, all of which turned out to be false.
"It is a classic case of producing documents, telling a tale and duping people into believing he was operating for the best interests for their business and themselves.
"He was pretending to set up new deals with car parks that did not exist, or car parks that are already in private ownership."
Mike Gregson, for the defence, said Kinson, now of Parkfield Crescent, Taunton, had claimed the money was used to repay debts to a "loan shark" who had threatened him.
Judge Christopher Harvey Clark, QC, adjourned the case, ordering a pre-sentence report and for any supporting information about the alleged loan to be brought to court. Kinson was granted conditional bail.
He is due to appear for sentencing next month.