A RIPLEY man faked a robbery at a pub where he worked in a bid to cover up a theft, a court has heard.
Gareth Day was working alone at the Gate Inn at The Delves, Swanwick, on March 3 when he helped himself to cash from the till.
He then smashed a wine glass, deliberately cut himself on the forehead and made a 999 call to report a robbery.
Day, 27, claimed: “Two people have just come in and hit me. One picked up a glass and hit me over the head and they stole money from the till and ran off.”
He showed police the cut to his forehead and an ambulance attended the scene, magistrates in Chesterfield were told.
“Police decided to close the pub down as a crime scene while forensic investigations were carried out. They started a robbery investigation and put an appeal in the media,” said Bill Taylor, prosecuting.
It resulted in a customer who had been in the pub coming forward, and he told officers that Day had opened the till before playing on a bandit machine.
Police checked the till and noticed it had been opened and closed a large number of times without sales being made.
“This shone the spotlight back on the defendant and created doubt about whether he was telling the truth about the robbery,” said Mr Taylor.
“He changed his story and eventually admitted there was no robbery and he had taken money from the till on a number of occasions, putting £85 in his pocket and using the rest on the gaming machine.
“He said: ‘I dropped a wine glass on the floor, picked up a piece of glass and caused a small cut to my forehead’.”
Mr Taylor added that the pub was closed from 2.30pm to 7pm because of the incident and claimed it had lost more than £600 in takings.
Day, of Fletcher Street, Ripley, admitted theft of £130 and wasting police time.
He received a one-year probation supervision order and 60 hours unpaid work and he must pay £235 compensation to the Gate Inn, with £85 costs.
“When he was younger he was drinking and taking drugs but, since release from prison, he has distanced himself from those friends,” said Denney Lau, for Day.
He told the court that Day had stopped abusing drugs and now only drank occasionally and in moderation, so it was “sad that he finds himself back before the courts”.