Published: 17:22, 18 June 2019
| Updated: 17:22, 18 June 2019
The manager of a pub stole more than £5,000 worth of goods from it as he was moving to another boozer to set up on his own.
Billy Morgan, 28, was a trusted member of staff at the Grove Ferry Inn in Upstreet, Canterbury, when he started stockpiling items to take to his new pub, the Black Pig.
Morgan had worked at the pub in Grove Ferry Road for about two years but the chef there started noticing items were missing from bulk orders which had been delivered to the venue.
The chef's partner, who is also the venue's cleaner, also noticed a stockpile of goods being piled up in an area of the pub and they both become suspicious.
Various items were taken from deliveries and even cutlery and other items used in the pub trade went missing.
The pair were suspicious of Morgan because they knew he was about to take out the lease of the Black Pig in Barnsole Road, Staple, near Canterbury, to run it himself.
The Grove Ferry Inn is owned by the Yummy Pub company and the matter was reported to bosses who then reported it to police.
In total, Morgan who lives at the Black Pig, stockpiled £5,842 of goods belonging to the Grove Ferry Inn and enlisted two associates to help him move the haul to his new pub.
However, after the goods were moved, Morgan was arrested and later charged with theft by employee and was found guilty of the offence by magistrates in Thanet.
The matter was sent to Canterbury Crown Court so he could be sentenced and Morgan appeared in the dock today.
Prosecutor Caroline Knight told Judge Catherine Brown the theft of the goods had an impact on business at the Grove Ferry Inn and had caused a disruption in trade because some dishes were not able to be served because of missing items.
She also told the court the items had been photographed as a haul at the Grove Ferry Inn and had also been snapped in a pile at the Black Pig.
She added: "He also involved two others in the removal of the goods."
Ian Bond defending told Judge Brown Morgan started running the Black Pig in August 2017 and has since introduced a general store in the pub for villagers.
Judge Brown jailed Morgan for 10 months for the offence, but suspended the term for 18 months.
She also ordered he carry out 300 hours of unpaid work and pay the Yummy Pub company, £5,842 in compensation.
She added: "You had a good record as a worker and manager and it is plain this is more an error of judgement and out of character for you.
"You had a high degree of trust placed in you and you breached that trust.
"Employers are entitled to trust their employees I hope you have learned your lesson.
"Be honest all the time."