Celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson has apologised for what he called his "stupid and irresponsible actions" after being cautioned by police for shoplifting items from a Tesco supermarket.
Worrall Thompson was arrested after he took cheese and wine without paying for them from the store in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, on Friday. He had been filmed on the store's secret camera taking items without paying for them while using the self-service checkout machines on five separate occasions over a period of 16 days.
"Of course, I must also apologise sincerely to Tesco, with whom I've had a long and genuine working relationship, and to all the staff at the Henley branch, many of whom I've got to know over the years.
"Once again, I am so sorry and hopefully in the future I can make amends."
Worrall Thompson's business, AWT Restaurants, was a major casualty of the 2009 recession when it collapsed into administration, closing seven pubs and restaurants.
Immediately after the administration, Worrall Thompson bought back Kew Grill, Windsor Grill and Window Larder for £210,000, personally financed by himself, long-term business partner David Wilby and friend Nicky Stephenson.
He then went on to rescue the Greyhound pub in Totherfield Peppard, Oxfordshire, by paying a nominal £1 for the lease and spending £70,000 on decorating the interior and exterior, as well as doing up the garden. Antiques and paintings from Worrall Thompson's attic have been used to enhance the decor.
At the time, Worrall Thompson told Caterer and Hotelkeeper that 2009 had been a hellish year, but that he was determined to come out fighting. "I suppose I had hoped to be thinking about my retirement by now - I imagined I would spend my days writing - but I'm not one to sit back and say poor me," he explains. "I'm determined to get on and make this work. I'm a bit of a scrapper and that is the way I will always be."
By Janet Harmer
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