And another wholesale purchase of the 'umble contrition act by Bystander. Feeling sorry for themselves because they've been caught doesn't mitigate their thefts one whit.
As a matter of fact remorse can amount to mitigation (have a look at the bench book). The three people on the bench were in complete agreement about these two cases. Between us we had about 45 years' experience in the courts, as well as long experience in business and professional life. Our assessment of the people we saw before us concurred. It is easy to be cynical looking at the case from afar, but the whole point of a court is that citizens judge other citizens, while looking them straight in the eye. These two had both owned up on the spot when challenged, they both had no previous convictions and they both stood to lose everything they had built up including their good name - a conviction for dishonesty (only one was a straightforward theft) does not improve a 40 year-old's CV.