Thieving Nottingham pub manager stole thousands of pounds of takings

A thieving pub manager from Nottingham stole thousands of pounds from the two city boozers he was running. Nottingham Crown Court heard how Jonathan Martin fleeced the owner of the Eagle’s Corner, in Arnold, and the Whitemoor, in Nuthall Road, of almost £10,500 of takings in just over two months.

After the 41-year-old’s crimes were detected, he then promised to pay the cash back, even saying he would borrow £5,000 from his grandparents. But even now, more than two years on, the defendant is yet to hand over a single penny to repay what he stole.

Handing him an 11-month jail term, suspended for two years, Recorder Mary Prior KC said: “For reasons that are not clear, you had become in severe financial difficulty and you appeared to be trying to mask that by stealing from the company and covering it by moving it from one place to another.

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“But in due course, your employer became aware there was a significant financial loss to him. The money was stolen from both of the premises (the pubs) and you were fully aware you had taken the money and that it did not belong to you.

“You told the police you intended to repay some or all of this money but two years on you have still not paid a penny towards this significant loss. People who steal money from their employer in a breach of trust must face a sentence of imprisonment.

“The only question for me to determine is if it is in the public interest if it is immediate or suspended. I think the public is best protected by you having this hanging over your head.”

Raglan Ashton, prosecuting, said Martin was made the manager of the Eagle’s Corner, in Front Street, in July 2021 and by January 2022, he was also asked to run the Whitemoor, in Nuthall Road, by the owners of both pubs, Star Pubs and Bars. He said each Monday, a security firm was paid to collect the week’s takings from both boozers and that “discrepancies” started to appear between what went through the tills and what was actually picked up by them.

The prosecutor said the business development manager at Star arranged to collect the cash in March 2022 but, when he turned up, the defendant was “still in bed”. Mr Ashton said: “He then broke down in tears and said he did not have the money and had spent it.

“He then promised to pay £5,000 the following Friday but he did not pay it. The police became involved and interviewed him and he accepted full responsibility.

“He told them the money was not stolen for personal gain and instead said it was ‘mismanagement’. He said he was ‘going through a hard time’ having split up from his girlfriend, started taking drugs and had ‘failed to keep on top of his finances’.

“He made an arrangement to borrow £5,000 from his grandparents to pay back the money but it has still not been paid back. He said he has worked in the industry for 20 years and feels embarrassed by the whole situation.”

Martin, of Brackendale Avenue, Arnold, pleaded guilty to theft from an employer and has no previous convictions of any kind. Thomas Welshman, mitigating, said his client was remorseful and sorry for his actions.

He said: “Back in March 2022, it seems Mr Martin was in a bit of a blur and was heading in a downward spiral using drugs and drink. That is not an excuse but puts it into context.”

As part of the suspended sentence order, the judge ordered Martin to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work and to attend 20 rehabilitation sessions. A Proceeds of Crime Act hearing, which could see the defendant stripped of assets to pay back what he stole, will take place on August 16.