Suspended sentence for bar worker who stole £3,500 from Gorleston club

Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd.

Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd.

A former bar worker at a social club in Gorleston stole £3,500 after a dispute over his wages, a court has heard.

Leslie Cook, 62, appeared at Norwich Crown Court yesterday where he admitted theft from Gorleston Social Club between August 16 and 19 last year.

Cook was initially charged with stealing just over £7,000 but entered a guilty plea on the basis he took £3,500.

Guy Ayers, prosecuting, said Cook, whose address was given as St John's Housing Trust, Fyffe Centre, Lowestoft, had 'helped himself to £3,500 of takings from the safe'.

Mr Ayers said: 'It was put in the safe and he took it.'

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The court heard there was a dispute over 'money owed by his employers at the time'.

Andrew Oliver, mitigating, said Cook was a man who had worked all his life. He even had a bar in Tenerife before returning to the area.

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Mr Oliver said Cook said he had not been paid for 'many, many weeks' and accepted he took money to which he was not entitled.

He said Cook turned off the CCTV as he was 'embarrassed about what he was doing'. Mr Oliver, who described Cook as being in a 'position of trust, but not a high position of trust' said he went away with the money – and the keys to the premises – to Cornwall where he spent a few days before coming back.

Judge Peter Jacobs sentenced Cook to four months' imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.

He also ordered Cook to carry out 160 hours' unpaid work as part of a community order.

The £1,558.85 taken from Cook when he was arrested will be given to the social club as compensation.

Have you got a crime story? Call Peter Walsh on 01603 772436.

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