A former bar manager who stole almost £7,000 from the Northampton pub company that employed her for 15 years has been given a suspended prison sentence.
Jacqueline Woolnough, aged 41, of Lennox Walk in Duston, was working as a bar manager at The Lord Byron pub in Kingsley Park Terrace when she pocketed the money taken from the tills and the pub fruit machine.
Northampton Crown Court heard she also gave away free drinks to her friends and family members.
Jenna Allen, prosecuting, said Woolnough’s criminality came to light after Paul McManus, owner of the McManus Pub Company which runs The Lord Byrom, became suspicious and carried out an internal audit.
The audit of the accounts covering the period from November last year to March this year uncovered the fact that more than £5,000 of takings from the fruit machine had not been banked and there was a cash shortfall of almost £2,000.
Mr McManus confronted Woolnough about the financial irregularities sand she admitted that she had not banked the money and had been taking it.
Woolnough was suspended from her job and the matter was passed on to police,
In her police interview, Woolnough said she had been in a lot of debt and was “robbing Peter to pay Paul.”
She admitted to a charge of theft by employee at Northampton Magistrates’ Court last month.
Mark Sookram, mitigating, said Woolnough felt “very ashamed” by her actions.
Recorder Stuart Sprawson sentenced Woolnough to nine months in prison, suspended for two years. She must also complete 120 hours unpaid work and pay back a total of £6,793 to the McManus Pub Company.