A FISH and chip shop manager has pleaded guilty to stealing more than £6,000 from his work, with the court hearing he was ‘a bit out of his depth’ running the chippie.
Ashley Allen, 29, from Paulsgrove, stood unrepresented in the dock at Portsmouth Magistrates Court, saying he was ‘obviously sorry’ for the theft of £6,157.30 from Deep Blue, in Southampton Road, Paulsgrove.
A probation officer said that Mr Allen had become ‘out of his depth’ running the store, being promoted shortly after the fish and chip chain took over Mother Kelly’s restaurant in March.
Mr Allen, who is currently working as a chef in a fast food restaurant, struggled to manage the shop’s ‘staff budget,’ with him ‘making up the difference from his wages’ when shortfalls arose, the officer said.
The father-of-two found himself taking money in an effort ‘not to lose face’ in providing for his family.
During sentencing, chair of the bench Heather Pashley acknowledged Mr Allen’s ‘good character,’ including his efforts to pay back a ‘substantial amount’ of the money to the shop, and she said the ‘circumstances’ surrounding his actions had been taken into account.
He was given a suspended sentence of six months in prison, with a requirement to complete 300 hours of unpaid work, as well as paying back the remainder of the money and charges to the court, totaling £1,860.50.