the manager of a Sheffield GP surgery stole £58,000 because he did not feel he was being paid enough, a court heard.
Former RAF serviceman Duncan Millar ran into debt and started taking money intended for patients by writing cheques to himself.
Sheffield Crown Court heard the 59-year-old, who narrowly escaped jail, went off the rails after his parents died within a month of one another and his 23-year marriage broke down.
The father-of-two became practice manager at Dr Dilip Chatterjee’s surgery on Dunninc Road, Shiregreen, Sheffield, after moving in with his second wife, a nurse there.
Jim Baird, defending, said the couple bought a £179,000 house with a £147,000 mortgage and his new wife paid a £30,000 deposit on the property.
They had repayments of £1,200 a month and Millar thought his salary was ‘insufficient’ so took out a £30,000 personal loan and ran up credit card debts of £5,000.
He started taking small amounts in August 2009 and then almost weekly until March 2012.
“The final amount is something which completely amazes and shocks him,” said Mr Baird.
Laura Marshall, prosecuting, said when arrested, Millar told police he wrote cheques to himself from the surgery’s funds supplied by the Primary Care Trust and cashed them.
Only he and the doctor had access to the account. He said Dr Chatterjee was often in India and would leave him blank cheques or he would forge the doctor’s signature.
Judge Rosalind Coe said: “Whether or not you felt you were being paid enough, simply taking money from the public was criminal behaviour.”
Millar was jailed for 18 months, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 300 hours of unpaid work.
The cash was repaid by the bank, which honoured the forged cheques.