Man stole from his employers

A man supporting two families stole nearly £7,000 from his employers - a well-known north Norfolk hotel and café.

A man supporting two families stole nearly £7,000 from his employers - a well-known north Norfolk hotel and café.

Darrell Bethell, 46, was given a nine-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, after admitting two offences of stealing a total of £6,975 from Byfords of Holt.

Bethell was sacked in January after writing himself cheques from the company, said Russell Butcher, prosecuting at Norwich Crown Court yesterday.

He was under pressure “emotionally and financially” when the thefts happened last September, the court heard.

Bethell, who had been divorced 10 years, was supporting his ex-wife and children, as well as the woman, with two daughters, he had struck up a new relationship with, said Guy Ayers, defending. “He did not have the income to do it. He relented to temptation,” he added.

Mr Ayers said Bethell, of The Turnpike, Carleton Rode, who had previous convictions for fraud, would pay back the money after he sold his house which was on the market.

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Judge Isobel Plumstead said the offences could warrant a spell in prison, but she was suspending the sentence because he had not offended since 1990 and had shown remorse.

The court also heard that Bethell now worked as a pub chef 15 hours a week, earning £6 an hour. His step-daughter was getting married in August and he wanted to do the catering and walk her down the aisle.