Barman stole £3,000 from Sunderland restaurant

Liberty Brown, Sunderland.
Liberty Brown, Sunderland.
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A BARMAN stole thousands of pounds from his employer.

Thomas Shemmell brazenly pocketed money while working at Liberty Brown’s, at Hylton Riverside, Sunderland.

But the 20-year-old was quickly spotted, and pleaded guilty to the theft when he appeared at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court.

Prosecutor Stan Sudworth said managers at the Apartment Group-owned company called in staff after money went missing from the tills on January 25.

On January 26, Shemmell, from Sunderland, was seen going to a till he was not supposed to be working on and had something in his hand.

He was asked to empty his pockets and some cash was found.

The court heard that £1,620, then £1,380, was stolen over two nights.

Mr Sudworth added: “He initially prevaricated, but on the second interview he said he had taken money on the Friday and Saturday.

“I understand the money has been recovered, so there is no compensation claim.”

Gerry Scott, defending, said Shemmell had suffered problems after moving to live with his father, but was now living with his mother and step-father.

He said: “It is clearly concerning that a man of good character should find himself before the court for an offence of this nature.

“He had been staying with his father in the south of England for a number of years.

“While he was there, his mental health was deteriorating.

“Shortly before Christmas, he moved back up to the Sunderland area, when he kept his deterioration from his family.”

He added that Shemmell did not know why he had taken the money and was now being treated by his GP.

Mr Scott said: “He is struggling to explain what has happened. He will certainly struggle in the future to find suitable employment, following this conviction.’’

District Judge Jonathan Radway said: “It is always a matter of great sadness when someone who is living a good and industrious life does something wrong.

“Clearly your difficulties have contributed to these offences.

Shemmell, of Castlegarth, was sentenced to a 12-month community order with supervision. He must also pay a £60 victim surcharge and £85 towards prosecution costs.