A FORMER employee of a city pub claims he stole hundreds and not thousands from a safe. 

Jamie King, of Fortuna Way, Kempsey, was set to be sentenced at Worcester Crown Court - but the difference in the amount claimed to have been stolen has now delayed the case.

As previously reported, the 32-year-old was employed as the unit manager at the Cardinal's Hat by pub landlord Nigel Smith. 

King was in a position of responsibility to bank the takings but a bookkeeper found there were shortages between December 28, 2021, and February 23, 2022.

King had admitted theft from employee during his magistrates court appearance last month. 

Worcester News: COURT: Jamie KingCOURT: Jamie King (Image: James Connell/Newsquest)

At the start of the crown court hearing on Thursday, (April 13), Jason Aris, defending, explained he had met King for the first time prior to the hearing and the defendant had told him he had not stolen £3,350.

"I asked him how much he accepted he had stolen?" Mr Aris said. 

"He says the amount he must have stolen is £700. 

"He is pretty adamant he didn't steal £3,350. There is a significant discrepancy.

"It is likely to trigger a trial of issue."

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His Honour Judge Nicholas Cole asked how this issue had not been raised at magistrates court when King had admitted the full charge with the amount referenced. 

Mr Aris said it was a "good question" he did not know the answer to. 

Prosecutor Olivia Appleby said she agreed the trial of issue, known as a Newton hearing, would be needed. 

Judge Cole said, as it would have a material difference to King's sentence, the case would have to be adjourned for the hearing.

Worcester News: PUB: Cardinal's Hat, WorcesterPUB: Cardinal's Hat, Worcester (Image: Newsquest)

Mr Aris also told the court that King had failed to attend a probation service interview to write a report. 

He explained King was called by the probation service and given the date but the defendant forgot it.

The judge said: "You don't accept £3,350 that is set out in the charge. 

"You suggest £700 - the prosecution does not accept that. 

"There will have to be a determination by this court on a factual basis."

The judge explained if the lower sum was found to be the correct amount it would be reflected in sentencing.

But Judge Cole warned, if it was found to be the higher amount, King would lose some of the credit gained from his early guilty plea. 

The judge told King he should attend the Newton hearing which is set to be heard in May. 

Judge Cole added a condition to King's bail that he should co-operate with the probation service in the writing of his pre-sentence report.