McDonalds worker stole £5,000 of takings from West Yorkshire restaurant after becoming hooked on gambling while on furlough

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A McDonald's worker stole more than £5,000 of takings after becoming hooked on gambling while on furlough.

Lloyd Parker carried out the offence while working as a shift leader at the McDonald's restaurant at Cathedral Retail Park in Wakefield.

Leeds Crown Court heard Parker's duties included him being trusted to collect till takings at the end of a shift before counting it, putting the money in a bag and placing it in a safe.

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Parker instead pocketed the cash and filled the cash bags with cut up pieces of newspaper the size of £1 coins.

Lloyd Parker stole £5,000 while working at McDonalds, on Cathedral Retail Park, WakefieldLloyd Parker stole £5,000 while working at McDonalds, on Cathedral Retail Park, Wakefield
Lloyd Parker stole £5,000 while working at McDonalds, on Cathedral Retail Park, Wakefield

Emily Jenkins, prosecuting, said Parker was made a shift manager in September 2019.

In December 2020 his role involved him helping to put new security measures in place at the premises which he later took advantage of.

Ms Jenkins said that after the pandemic started only one person could be responsible for handling the takings.

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The cash would be placed in a drop safe for collection by a G4S security guard.

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Ms Jenkins said Parker sent an e-mail to his boss on December 14 last year stating that he was leaving his job and moving to London.

The defendant stated that he was suffering with mental health problems and that he "was sorry".

A member of staff contacted Parker's partner and she said he had left and did not want to be disturbed.

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Later the same day Parker's manager received an e-mail from HSBC bank informing him that three cash bags had been found empty.

They instead contained newspaper which had been cut up.

Parker, of Windsor View, Dewbury, pleaded guilty to theft.

His manager provided a statement to the court, saying: "Lloyd was a trusted member of the team.

"I would never believe he would be capable of stealing from a company that had employed him for so long."

Kate Bisset, mitigating, said: "Ashamed and terrified are words that do not come close to describing how this defendant feels as he sits in the dock."

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Ms Bisset said the offending took place at a time when Parker had been working reduced hours after being placed on furlough.

He was struggling to support his partner and two children as he was unable to work overtime and extra shifts.

The barrister said Parker began gambling after receiving an email from a betting company offering him a free bet.

Ms Bisset said the defendant's losses on gambling spiralled out of control.

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At one stage he was receiving 40 emails a day from different gambling firms.

The court heard Parker took the cash from his employer after gambling away money which had been set aside for Christmas presents and Christmas dinner for his family.

Parker was given a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

He was also ordered to do 120 hours of work.

Recorder Bryan Cox QC said: "I am satisfied that you are remorseful."