Burger restaurant boss stole £5,000 before resigning

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An assistant manager stole more than £5,000 in cash from the Leeds city centre burger restaurant where he worked.

Steven Richardson, 30, of School Bungalow, Castleford, helped himself to takings from the safe at the Handmade Burger Company, based in the Trinity Centre, before handing in his resignation.

Leeds Crown Court heard Richardson the gave a range of different excuses for leaving including being worried about having cancer, having an argument with a member of staff and not being able to handle the work.

Louise Pryke, prosecuting, said Richardson was taken on as an assistant manager on February 9 this year. He was trusted with keys to the safe and dealt with workers’ wages and takings from the till. The offending came to light on April 12 when a member of staff contacted the manager to say Richardson had walked out. The manager and Richardson exchanged text messages but he refused to answer his phone.

Richardson was again contacted after it was realised cash was missing. Investigations revealed he had taken money, totalling £5.385, on two occasions.

Richardson contacted his boss via Facebook promising to return the cash but failed to do so. He was arrested and claimed he had taken the money after asking for an advance on his wages.

He pleaded guilty to two offences of theft.

Richard Canning, mitigating, said the father-of-four was under pressure to repay debts.

He said Richardson had previously been the licence holder of a pub which had led to him with a debt of £5,000. Richardson was given a six month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months. He was also ordered to do 150 hours unpaid work.

Recorder Tony Hawks said: “You decided to just help yourself to the takings, no doubt thinking you were able to them back. The reality is that you were never likely to be able to pay them back.”