A manager stole £7.000 in profits from a pub in Ely before vanishing four days later, a court heard.
Daniel Perry, of Plumstead Road, Norwich, had been employed as the general manager of the Hereward pub by the bar chain Stonegate for nine months when the offence took place.
The 41-year-old was responsible for depositing the pub’s weekend takings at the bank every Monday.
He was due to do this on Monday, June 4 last year, Cambridge Crown Court heard, but failed to do so and the management were informed by Stonegate’s banking department.
A Stonegate investigator visited the pub two days later when he spoke with Perry and completed a cash check which confirmed the £7,029 was missing.
Perry initially claimed another employee had taken the money – but that employee stated a different pub worker had the cash.
The following morning Perry sent the Stonegate investigator a picture of a large amount of cash in one of the company’s bags.
With this, Perry claimed he had found the takings in the downstairs safe and said he was going to the bank straight away to deposit them.
The Stonegate investigator arrived at the pub an hour later, but Perry wasn’t there and staff claimed it was his day off. Perry’s mobile had also been switched off.
The Stonegate investigator stayed locally overnight and visited the pub again the next day where he found Perry behind the bar, the court heard.
Perry told him he had personally paid the missing cash into the bank but had no evidence.
He was asked for a bank paying-in slip but claimed the bank had kept both copies.
Perry was adamant he had visited the bank at 9am, despite the bank not opening until 9.30am.
The bank stated they had received no cash deposits from Perry. The investigator returned to the pub and discovered that Perry had disappeared.
He left his work keys behind and turned his mobile phone off. To this day, the £7,029 remains unaccounted for and Perry has made no effort to return the stolen takings.
Perry was arrested on suspicion of theft and in police interview admitted he had taken the money.
However, he claimed he decided to keep the money after receiving an email from Stonegate accepting his resignation, despite him not resigning.
Perry said he kept the cash to cover his loss of earnings. He told officers he had used the money to cover his bills and said he would be happy to pay back the difference from what he was ‘owed’ – but claimed Stonegate had never asked.
Perry previously pleaded guilty to theft by employee at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court.
His case was committed to Cambridge Crown Court yesterday (Thursday, April 4) where he was handed 10 months in prison, suspended for 18 months.
He was also ordered to complete 160 hours of unpaid work and was ordered to pay back the £7,029 he stole.
PC Malcolm Wood, who investigated, said: “Perry thought nothing of taking thousands of pounds from his employers and then blaming other colleagues for the disappearance of the money.
“His level of deceit towards his employer almost beggars belief and this was a huge breach of trust.”