A BMW salesman stole £10,500 from the Pendragon car dealership where he worked after his home life "got into a mess".
Anthony Meadowcroft kept deposits handed over by customers at the Stratstone BMW showroom in Derby.
But Derby Crown Court heard the 46-year-old had stolen “out of desperation”. He had been suffering from post-traumatic stress following a dreadful attack by a man, and his family finances had been getting in a mess.
Meadowcroft, who had admitted the thefts, received a six-month prison term, suspended for a year.
Judge Jonathan Gosling said Meadowcroft was a well-respected salesman, top in his region in 2011, and his fellow employees spoke fondly of him. He wasn't stealing to fund some sort of high life, but was stealing out of desperation.
The judge did not order Meadowcroft to pay compensation, saying he had no cash, but he warned that BMW could take civil action against him.
Alex Wolfson, prosecuting, said £10,500 went from the firm before the offence was detected.M
eadowcroft was found out after a customer became concerned and spoke to a manager and an audit was carried out.
Meadowcroft, of Norman Street, Ilkeston, admitted theft between September 1, 2011, and April 13, 2012.
Quentin Robbins, in mitigation, handed in a psychiatric report and told the judge that Meadowcroft and his wife had both been undergoing medical tests at the time of the offences and “family finances were getting in a mess”.
The court heard the couple had since divorced and Meadowcroft had had “a considerable breakdown”.