Midlands butcher shop manager jailed for theft

The manager of a Staffordshire butcher’s has been jailed after admitting stealing takings from the shop.

Christopher Williams, 48, manager of the Woolliscroft store in Cheadle, had earlier pleaded guilty to a series of theft charges, when he had appeared before North Staffordshire Magistrates in January.

Now, at a sentencing hearing before Stoke Crown Court, Williams has been jailed for eight months.

The court heard that, over a period of a year, Williams had stolen more than £2,500 in takings.

Prosecutor Richard Dewsbury told the court that when the thefts began to distort the shop's financial position, owner Patrick Stimpson, who also runs a second shop in nearby Bucknall, began an investigation.

Dewsbury told the court: "Williams was stealing to fund his own lifestyle. He was living beyond his means and he expected his employer to make up the differences without seeking any authorisation."

Jailing Williams, who has previous convictions for theft, Judge Granville Styler said: "You were the shop manager and you were in a position of a high degree of trust."

After the case, Patrick Stimpson commented: "The amount he was convicted for was only the amount we could prove he had taken, but the accountant had gone back through the figures and we estimate that he has had many thousands of pounds more.

"The management of the shop is now overseen within the family."