A THIEF has been put behind bars for stealing almost £4,000 from a pub while training to be a supervisor.
Paul Robinson was due to start work at Jarrow’s Ben Lomond after his girlfriend, an assistant manager, offered him a job.
She entrusted the 49-year-old with paying the bar’s takings into the Post Office, but on three occasions he pocketed the cash instead.
He was found out after an audit into the missing £3,877.94 proved that the discrepancies fell on the days he was handling the cash.
Robinson pleaded guilty to theft at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court last month and the case was adjourned for a pre-sentence report to be prepared.
He was due back before the court at the end of March to hear his fate, but on two occasions failed to turn up – after being sectioned under the mental health act.
After finally turning up, he was jailed for 14 weeks, despite his solicitor asking magistrates to suspend any prison term.
Chairman of the bench, Rev Glynn Lister said: “This is clearly a breach of trust which is aggravated by suspicion being thrown onto your girlfriend – who trusted you.
“Your record shows you have two previous offences for similar matters and on both of those occasions the custody threshold was passed and you were given a chance with suspended sentences.
“We’ve been asked to do the same again but we’re not persuaded that it would be the right thing to do.”
Jeanette Smith, prosecuting, said that on January 21 and 30 and February 7 this year, Robinson was entrusted to deposit a total of £3,877.94 at the post office.
When the books didn’t balance, an audit showed the cash was never paid in.
Mrs Smith added: “When he was arrested, Robinson told police that the theft had nothing to do with his partner and he needed the money to pay off a debt from five years ago.
“He said he was sorry, and his life was in a mess.”
The court heard that Robinson, of Salisbury Street, Gateshead, has a previous conviction for stealing from an employer.
Shaun McFaul, defending, said: “It’s clear to me the remorse he has shown, especially towards his ex, who he still dearly loves.
“He has problems and is seeing a psychiatric nurse.
“When he has a problem he doesn’t think about the decisions he makes.
“This will have crossed the custody threshold, but he would benefit from any sentence being suspended, he wants help from the probation service.”
Greene King, which runs the Ben Lomond, declined to make a comment.