A chef stole more than £10,000 worth of meat from the North-east pub restaurant where he worked, a court heard.
Graham Scott, 48, head chef at the Bay Horse, Hutton Rudby, admitted a series of theft charges when he appeared before Teeside Crown Court.
He was given a nine-month suspended sentence and an 18-month supervision order.
The court was told that for a period of four years Scott went to collect the meat from the butchers, but kept a portion back for himself, selling it on at a profit.
Evidence was given that the theft had impacted substantially on the profits of the pub and the restaurant.
In mitigation it was said that Scott was of previous good character but that he had acquired a gambling habit and was always in need of extra money.
Defence barrister Martina Connolly said: "He is acutely aware and ashamed of what he has done."
Passing sentence Judge George Moorhouse added: "It is sad to see a man of your age in court."
By Andrew Smith
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