Gambler who went too far
RECKLESS Andrew Ross gambled thousands of pounds of his punters' Christmas Club money to increase profits and keep his bosses happy.The former manager of The Inkerman pub, in Norwich Road, Ipswich, took the money thinking he could recoup it from profits made at events he staged.
RECKLESS Andrew Ross gambled thousands of pounds of his punters' Christmas Club money to increase profits and keep his bosses happy.
The former manager of The Inkerman pub, in Norwich Road, Ipswich, took the money thinking he could recoup it from profits made at events he staged.
Ipswich Crown Court heard that his plans came unstuck when he realised there was a shortfall in the account and he would not be able to pay out when he had promised.
But instead of coming clean the 38-year-old stole cash and stock from the pub and made his escape in a stolen car.
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The 38-year-old is starting a 12-month jail term today after admitting stealing £2401 in cash and stock from the Inkerman, £4718 from the Christmas club and a Vauxhall Cavalier worth £400 from a friend.
Judge John Bevan sentenced him to eight months for the first offence, four months for the second and 12 months for the third - all were to be served concurrently. He was also ordered to repay the club members and pay £150 costs.
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Ian Francis, prosecuting, said: "The first indication that something was wrong was on December 11, 2002, when the accounts staff saw that Ross had not banked the preceding week's takings.
"The area manager tried to contact him by phone but failed. On December 12 Ross sent a text message which said he forgot to bank the money as he had been under pressure.
"The manager phoned several times more but was unsuccessful. Then on December 13 he went to the pub but found it closed.
"On December 14 the manager was told the keys were available from another person and he went to the pub with a stock taker and discovered the discrepancy."
"On December 12 William Goldsmith lent his Cavalier to him which was worth £400. It was never returned to him. None of the Christmas Club members ever received a pay out."
Judge John Bevan pointed out that Charles Davis was one of those most upset by the theft of the money as he had to explain to his ten grandchildren why they did not have any Christmas presents.
Mark Roochove, mitigating, said: "Ross is ashamed of what he has done. He is a man of hitherto good character and was a good and popular landlord who increased the pub's profits.
"He started the Christmas club and there would be times when he would use the money to fund functions and events which increased trade and kept the brewery happy. The money would be recouped from the sale of tickets.
"He anticipated everyone would benefit from this.
"The difficulty was that there was a shortfall and he left it too late to apply for a bank loan to pay out the Christmas club on December 13, 2002.
"When he realised there was a deficit he took the cowardly decision to leave the area taking the money he should have given to the brewery and £2401 worth of cash and stock."
On sentencing the judge said: "I have listened to what your council has said and I'm not sure whether you are ashamed or not. Only time will tell with your r
"I have taken into account your previous good behaviour but you were in a position of trust and you stole from your employers. But worse in my point of view was breaking the trust of those who put money into the Christmas Club so that their children and grandchildren could enjoy the benefits. You ruined their Christmas as a result.