Boss stole £130,000 from Leicester hotel to fund his drug habit
A hotel duty manager created fake accounts to steal nearly £130,000 to fund his drug addiction and share with his partner, a court was told.
Robert Scott Brown was jailed for three years after admitting systematically taking money during a 12-month period when he worked at the Campanile, in St Matthews in Leicester.
He pleaded guilty to theft and to converting criminal property at an earlier hearing.
His partner, John McClafferty, also pleaded guilty to converting criminal property at the same hearing.
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Jonathan Cox, prosecuting, told Leicester Crown Court yesterday: "Scott Brown was a duty manager and responsible for paying bills for the hotel and had access to its accounts." He said he created false accounts which had to be paid and siphoned money into his bank account between April 2008 and April 2009.
Mr Cox said the theft was discovered after Scott Brown was made redundant and the tax authorities and the hotel management examined its financial records.
He said: "It was discovered that Scott Brown had stolen a total of £129,595.10p."
He said examination of Scott Brown and McClafferty's joint accounts by police showed tens of thousands of pounds had been paid in and withdrawn.
He said the defendants had a joint annual income of £30,000. He said Scott Brown had been sent to prison for a similar offence of stealing £94,000 from a recruitment company.
Catarina Sjolin, for Scott Brown (42) of Herricks Avenue, Humberstone, Leicester, said her client had developed a severe drug problem when he was sent to prison for the recruitment company theft.
She said he turned to crime again when he was short of money and in a bid to promote a caravan business with his partner.
John Attwood for McClafferty (34), also of Herricks Avenue, Humberstone, said: "It was a question of love is blind. My client had stuck by his partner when he was sent to prison for the other offence. My client believed he had changed and thought, at first, that the money came from a business loan for the buying and selling of caravans."
He said his client was the younger of the two and had argued with Scott Brown over his drug use.
Mr Attwood said: "He became suspicious but chose to hide his head in the sand.
"They even went on a holiday to Canada to improve their relationship.
"He is terrified at the prospect of being sent to prison as he considers himself vulnerable."
He said it was his first criminal conviction and urged that he should be given a suspended sentence.
Judge Michael Pert agreed and gave McClafferty a one-year prison sentence suspended for two years. He was also ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work in the community.