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Employee stole £2500 from hotel

PUBLISHED: 09:23 21 July 2009 | UPDATED: 11:09 12 July 2010

A trusted employee stole more than £2,500 from the Gissing Hall Hotel, the court heard yesterday.

Pearl Dunscombe, aged 58, of The Street, Winfarthing, admitted six offences of theft involving £2,594 from the hotel between August 2005 and April 2006.

A trusted employee stole more than £2,500 from the Gissing Hall Hotel, the court heard this week.

Pearl Dunscombe, aged 58, of The Street, Winfarthing, admitted six offences of theft involving £2,594 from the hotel between August 2005 and April 2006.

Jude Durr, prosecuting at Norwich Crown Court on Monday, said Dunscombe was a trusted member of staff and was employed on a fee only basis, earning £13,000 per annum.

He said she became signatory on the company cheques and also had access to the company credit cards of the 23-bedroomed family-run hotel.

Mr Durr said at the time of the offences the business had been struggling, and as part of a review, checks were made of the accounts and discrepancies were found. He said it was found that Dunscombe had paid cheques to herself involving false invoices and Dunscombe was arrested.

Michael Clare, mitigating, said that Dunscombe had taken advantage of a “chaotic situation”. He said that Dunscombe herself had loaned money to the business and said: “There is an ongoing dispute between the parties.”

“In the chaos that reigned in this case, she succumbed to a temptation to sort out her short-term finances.” He said she had since sold her home for £630,000, which was heavily mortgaged, and now runs a pub with her husband.

Dunscombe was given a 30-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, ordered to do 150 hours unpaid work, as well as pay £2,594 back to the victim. She was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £1,056. Recorder James Wood told her: “You have lost your good character and you should never again be placed in a position of trust in a workplace.”


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