Shop manager jailed for theft - Berkhamsted

19/02/2015

The former manager of Berkhamsted's Fat Face store was jailed for 18 months today, Thursday, 19 February 2015, after a judge heard he had started stealing cash from the till soon after the shop had opened.

Jonathon Whiting, aged 32, from Buckingham, was serving a suspended sentence for stealing from Billabong, his previous employer, when he started work at the new store, St Albans Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Michael Shaw said that Whiting took £11,449 between November 2011 and February 2012. He filled in the correct amount of cash in the shop's books, but on 22 occasions, did not pay the full amount in at the bank. The shortfall was discovered in February 2012 and both he and the assistant manager were suspended as suspicion had unfairly fallen on her, said Mr Shaw.

Whiting, of Bluebell Close, Buckingham, pleaded guilty to theft. In April 2011 he received a 6 month jail sentence suspended for 2 years for five counts of theft from Billabong. In all, he had 5 previous convictions for 11 offences.

Alistair Polson, defending, said the assistant manager had been "quickly exonerated" and returned to work. He said that, at the time, Whiting had a "significant alcohol problem." He said he was being supported by his new partner, had shown remorse and fully accepted his guilt. Mr Polson asked the judge to give Whiting "one last chance" and not send him to prison.

But Judge Marie Catterson jailed him for 15 months for the theft from Fat Face and activated 3 months of the suspended sentence to run consecutively. She said: "An extremely unattractive feature of this case is that suspicion fell on a fellow employee. You were stealing hand over fist from your employers when you were serving a suspended sentence."

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