A CONMAN who swindled his mobile phone giant bosses O2 out of nearly £65,000 by falsely claiming wages through an employment agency has been jailed.

Prosecutor Jason Howells told Newport Crown Court how Lewis Hayes submitted 129 fraudulent timesheets to Search Total Recruitment Solutions over a three-year period.

He had been taken on as a temp by the agency in September 2013 to work as a customer advisor for O2.

But when he was taken on by them as a full-time employee nearly a year later, he continued to submit timesheets to Search.

Mr Howells said the ruse went on between August 2014 to January 2017, in which the defendant had claimed he had worked between 36 and 43.5 hours a week.

The court heard Hayes, 24, of Plas Bryn Gomer, Croesyceiliog, Cwmbran, benefitted to the tune of more than £44,000 while O2 was left £64,554 out of pocket.

While he was operating the scam, Hayes had worked at the company’s Newport, Cwmbran and Cardiff stores.

Mr Howells said the defendant had pleaded guilty to fraud at the first opportunity and had no previous convictions.

When the deception was finally uncovered, he said his O2 managers and fellow employees were “shocked at the abuse of trust”.

Hayes, the court was told, was falsely claiming by using the signature of one of his bosses, Nicola Prince, from old timesheets.

Mr Howells said that when she discovered what had happened, “she felt physically sick” and that she had “supported, mentored and trusted him”.

When he was arrested, Hayes made full and frank admission to detectives and told them he didn’t have enough money to live on and also had to pay out for motoring offences.

There was no application made under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Harry Baker, mitigating, said his client had recently become a father to a four-month-old baby and provided “emotional and financial” support to his young family.

Judge Tracey Lloyd-Clarke said this was a fraud which involved the “abuse of trust and which was carried out over a sustained period of time”.

Hayes was jailed for two years and there was no order made for compensation.