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Restaurant manager jailed for stealing from till

PUBLISHED: 10:52 10 March 2009 | UPDATED: 09:31 13 July 2010

A restaurant manager who “lapped up” more than £12,000 by pocketing cash from the till of the business he was running, has been jailed for a year.

Julien Dietenbeck, 23, started work as the manager of the Olive Branch Bar and Restaurant in Tunstead at the beginning of last year after moving to the UK from the northeast of France to find work.

A restaurant manager who "lapped up" more than £12,000 by pocketing cash from the till of the business he was running, has been jailed for a year.

Julien Dietenbeck, 23, started work as the manager of the Olive Branch Bar and Restaurant in Tunstead at the beginning of last year after moving to the UK from the northeast of France to find work.

But within two months of his arrival, Dietenbeck, who has since moved back to France, realised he could easily skim money from the till by refunding drinks from customer's bills and pocketing the cash, which the prosecution claimed added up to more than £12,000 between February 15 and August 18.

Norwich Crown Court heard how the restaurant's owner Ian Matthews employed Dietenbeck and his wife in good faith as managers of the restaurant responsible for its day to day running and handing over profits on a daily basis.

But the court heard how the restaurant manager helped himself to money from the till on a daily basis, with the police recovering £6,000 cash hidden in the kitchen cupboards of his home.

Dietenbeck admitted four charges of fraud after forging four cheques and three of theft, including stealing a customer's chequebook.

Dietenbeck's crimes came to light when the owner was contacted by a customer whose cheque book was stolen.

Ppolice started a probe into the businesss, which unveiled the catalogue of thefts committed.

A personal statement read in court from Mr Matthews described how Deitenbeck's actions had destroyed his ability to trust employees.

He now runs the restaurant himself.

Mitigating, David Wilson argued the defendant still had the money and would be able to pay it back in full, despite spending £4,000 on buying a holiday before he was arrested.

Mr Wilson said: "It's a very sad case; here is a well trained young man who spent six years in culinary school and took the opportunity to come here to improve his language skills.

"He fell into the temptation of taking money from his employer. He is deeply remorseful and has brought a great deal of shame on his family, who have travelled from France to be here today.

"This is a young man who's been very foolish and learnt his lesson the hard way. He has not frittered away all the money and it will be returned in full."

Judge Daniel Worsley sentenced Dietenbeck to a

12-month custodial sentence.

He said: "You have pleaded guilty to shameful and miserable offences. You discovered you could steal and you did so in different ways over a period of six months - you lapped it up and as you have admitted it was just greed, you weren't in any financial difficulties. It's been disastrous for the owner, the staff and the customers no doubt."


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