A former Amazon worker has been sentenced after stealing more than £64,000 worth of mobile phones in a theft described as "sophisticated".

Arbaz Zafar stole 46 iPhones with a value of £64,532 while he was employed at Amazon at the firm's Bolton warehouse.

At Bolton Crown Court, prosecutor Catherine Wright said Zafar ordered small items like books from his personal account and abused his warehouse role to place iPhones into the packages instead.

Zafar, of Hawker Avenue, Bolton, carried out the thefts from December 2022 to February 2023.

Bosses carried out quality checks before realising what was happening following an internal investigation.

Miss Wright said: “On February 8 there was a quality stock check, and it was found that items that should have been in stock were not available.

“They reviewed the CCTV and were able to identify him taking items and putting them in packaging.

“He took them to an area on-site and used his own envelopes to put the items in.”

When Zafar was arrested, police found packaging and £25,000 in cash, and he subsequently pled guilty to theft as an employee for the 46 iPhones.

Michael Lavery, defending, said: “His mother and father offer their support and his younger brother has finished his law degree.

“So, he is feeling the shame and remorse that his offending has caused his family.

“He suffers from an illness, he is of positive, good character.

“This is a man, who it's clear, presents no danger to the public.

“There are realistic expectations of rehabilitation.”

Recorder Katie Jones took note of Zafar’s "sophisticated" offence and his "good character". 

Recorder Jones said: “There was a significant level of sophistication dedication, which represented a significant breach of trust.

“I accept that you have demonstrated significant remorse and I accept that you have health issues.

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“There are many positive things that can be said about you, and I know that you have attempted to make positive changes in your life.

“I do take the view that this is a high culpability case.”

Recorder Jones sentenced Zafar, 25, to 12 months in prison suspended for 18 months, a 12-month rehabilitation activity requirement order and 150 hours of unpaid work.