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Little Chef restaurant supervisor told to expect prison after stealing £700,000

Little Chef restaurant supervisor told to expect prison after stealing £700,000

A restaurant supervisor who stole £700,000 from his employers was told to expect a prison sentence when he appeared in court last week.

Yiuman Poon used a credit card machine at the Dreghorn, North Ayrshire, branch of roadside diner Little Chef to transfer the cash into his accounts in a bid to pay off gambling debts, Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard.

Poon carried out the ill-conceived scam on 13 November 2011 after telling colleagues not to turn up for work, according to the BBC. He told them that an electrical fault had occurred with the machines in the restaurant that would prevent it from opening.

However Poon was rumbled when a workmate he'd forgotten to phone arrived for an afternoon shift to find the restaurant deserted and a refund receipt for £458,000 lying on the floor.

Police were called in and they found that £458,000 had been transferred into Poon's account, as well as another £242,000 that had been transferred earlier the same day.

When police officers went to arrest him at his flat the following morning, Poon managed to avoid arrest by escaping out of his top-floor window. He then shimmied 100ft (30m) down a drainpipe and clambered up a tree to hide.

Poon spent eight days on the run but couldn't get at the stolen money because the accounts were frozen. He tried two banks but was turned away both times by staff, before he handed himself in at Gayfield police station in Edinburgh and confessed.

Poon pleaded guilty to fraud at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

Sheriff Noble deferred sentence on Poon until next month in order for the court to obtain reports about his character.

By Janie Manzoori-Stamford

E-mail your comments to Janie Manzoori-Stamford here.

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