Drink led to theft from pub safe

A MAN who broke up with his girlfriend went on a marathon drinking binge and then stole more than £1,000 from an Ipswich pub started a jail term today.

A MAN who broke up with his girlfriend went on a marathon drinking binge and then stole more than £1,000 from an Ipswich pub started a jail term today.

Michael Walker, 27, was sentenced to four months in prison at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court after he pleaded guilty to theft from the pub where he worked as a barman.

The court heard he stole £1,250 from the Railway pub, in Foxhall Road, after drowning his sorrows following a bust up with his girlfriend.

Prosecuting lawyer Sandra Dyer said the theft happened on the night of May 24 this year.

He said: "It was a breach of trust, he was an employee at The Railway public house at the time. He stole £1,250 from the safe and disappeared.

"He spent the money on a car and CD player and various expenses."

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Walker's solicitor Paul Roach told the court his client found out his girlfriend was seeing someone else.

He said: "It seems he drunk a vast quantity of alcohol one evening then went to the safe and took the float out. There were no professional hallmarks.

"This seems to have been an amateur operation for no particularly good reason."

The court heard that Walker, who since moved to Lincoln, gave the car he bought to his employers shortly after the theft.

Mr Roach said: "It was an emotional response. He drowned his sorrows.

"He feels bad about what he did. The root of this was falling out with his girlfriend with whom he was running the pub."

"It was the action of someone who was very upset."

Chairman of the bench Bernie Stowe said credit had been given to Walker for his guilty plea to the charge.

Addressing Walker Mrs Stowe said: "We find the offence is so serious that the only option is custody. You will go to prison for four months.

"You were in breach of trust, it was planned and alcohol related."

Walker, who looked stunned as the sentence was handed down, was not ordered to pay costs or compensation.

During the hearing Walker was sentenced for a separate charge of failing to comply with a community punishment order relating to a conviction for benefit fraud.

He had pleaded guilty to the charge at an earlier hearing. He received a one month prison sentence, concurrent to the sentence for theft.

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