Stole cash from tips jar for staff

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A judge said he hopes staff at a Larne restaurant, where a colleague stole cash from a tip jar, will get a treat with the money when it is paid back.

District Judge Peter King was speaking at Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday where Daniel Edmunds (22), with an address at the Simon Community in Larne’s Curran Road, was ordered to pay £200 compensation.

The defendant also has to complete 120 hours of Community Service.

Edmunds had previously admitted one charge of theft which involved the theft of cash estimated to be between £180 and £250 from ‘The Big Sandwich Co.’

The date of the offence was recorded as June 8 last year.

A prosecutor said police were called in after money went missing.

When interviewed, the defendant admitted taking what Judge King referred to as the “staff Christmas tips” cash.

The defendant had a previously clear record and a defence lawyer told the court there was “no doubt it is a bad offence”.

“There are no excuses for it,” he added.

The lawyer told the court that his client has “a number of issues”.

The legal representative said the defendant was finding it difficult to raise the cash as he was now on Jobseekers’ Allowance but he had brought £30 to court.

The lawyer added the defendant had also brought a games console with him which he is intending to sell to raise more cash.

A previous court heard the incident described as a “breach of trust” and the earlier sitting was also told the business owner said the staff tip jar had been raided.

On Thursday, Judge King said it was a “mean offence” after the defendant found himself with access to the “staff Christmas tips”.

Ordering Edmunds to pay back £200 in compensation, the judge told the court he hoped the money could perhaps be used “to treat the staff in some way”.