A French restaurant manager who almost ruined a Norwich restaurant by a pattern of systematic theft has been jailed for a year.
Julien Dietenbeck, 23, manager of the Olive Branch Bar and Restaurant in Tunstead near Norwich admitted fraud and theft charges when he appeared before Norwich Crown Court.
The court heard that, over a period of a year, Dietenbeck managed to steal almost £12,000 from the restaurant by destroying customer drink receipts and pocketing the cash.
Dietenbeck was caught out when he stole a customer's chequebook and the theft was reported to police.
A search of Dietenbeck's house found £6,000 hidden in cupboards which was returned to restaurant owner Ian Matthews.
The court was told that Matthews had employed Dietenbeck and his wife to run the restaurant on a day-to-day basis, handing over the profits at the end of each day.
Giving evidence in court Matthews now said he no longer trusted employees and ran the restaurant himself.
Sentencing Dietenbeck, Judge Daniel Worsley 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."
By Andrew Smith
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