Pilfering fish bar manager jailed

David Sharpe with his former manager David Young (right), who has been jailed for stealing �6,000
David Sharpe with his former manager David Young (right), who has been jailed for stealing �6,000

THE crooked boss of a Wigan fish and chip restaurant has been jailed after admitting stealing thousands of pounds from the premises.

David Young, who was beginning an eight-month sentence today, stole £6,178 from Sharpy’s at the DW Stadium, while employed there last year.

Today Dave Whelan, whose grandson David Sharpe set up the eatery, accused the former general manager of betrayal and said he got “exactly what he deserves.”

Liverpool Crown Court heard that Young salted away the cash over a period of seven months, between March and November, claiming his wage of £1,600 a month was not enough for him and his family to live on.

Owner of the restaurant David Sharpe, the grandson of Latics chairman Dave Whelan, became aware of the theft when a senior manager from the DW Stadium tried to contact him during his shift and it was found he was absent from the restaurant.

He was concerned as he had noticed a recent dip in his performance at work and he learnt that Young had asked members of staff to cover for him that day.

Young, 30, was suspended for a couple of days and during that time emailed his resignation to the owner stating that he had borrowed some money.

As a result, an internal audit of the restaurant was arranged where it was found that there was a shortage of more than £6,000 which should have been banked, said Desmond Lennon, prosecuting.

When interviewed by police he explained that he had been struggling to meet his bills for credit cards and loans and was trying to keep his family together.

Young, of Abbeydale Road, Newton Heath, who pleaded guilty to theft before Wigan and Leigh magistrates last month, again represented himself in court and said that he had taken the money out of necessity.

He described himself as “an upstanding figure in the community” and said he was willing to carry out unpaid work and asked the judge to suspend any prison sentence.

But Judge Andrew Hatton, told Young, who has no previous convictions: “It was a significant breach of trust and only an immediate custodial sentence is appropriate.”

He added that it had been a “flagrant and sustained” offence.

It was recently reported that the closure of Sharpy’s is being considered because it has not attracted the expected level of trade except on DW Stadium match days.

Mr Whelan said: “It doesn’t help the restaurant when its manager steals thousands of pounds instead of running the place.

“The jail sentence is exactly what he deserves. You feel betrayed when someone in that position uses what he has got and steals money. He knew he was going to get found out. He claimed he had borrowed it but when we said ‘where is it then?’ he said he couldn’t produce it because it had gone.”

Young must pay the money back within two years of his release from prison.