Staffordshire landlord who faked robbery is jailed

A thieving pub landlord pocketed more than £2,000 and then concocted a phoney story of an armed robbery at the remote location, a judge heard.

Gambling addict Gavin Cabrey plundered the takings during a two-week shift as relief manager at the Hand and Cleaver, near Stafford.

But the night before the pub’s full-time landlord Martin Tolley was due back from holiday, Cabrey dialled 999 and said two masked intruders had broken into the pub.

He claimed one of them pointed a gun at him, demanded the keys to the safe and the robbers got away with the takings. As a result, 21 police officers, including four that were armed, were deployed to the pub, said Miss Sharon Bahia, prosecuting.

But the ‘robbery’ was a complete fabrication to cover-up Cabrey’s thefts from the pub. An investigation into the missing money - around £2,200 - revealed Cabrey had visited gambling sites.

Cabrey, aged 33, of no fixed address, admitted charges of perverting the course of justice and theft. Judge Amjad Nawaz sentenced him to 21 weeks jail for the theft, plus a further 37 weeks for the false robbery report.

The judge told him: “You deliberately lied to get your way out and cover up your offending. It strikes at the very heart of the criminal justice system. .”

Miss Bahia said the theft took place in November 2011, when Mr Tolley was on holiday. During the two weeks he was working and living in the pub, Cabrey banked money only once.

The bogus robbery report was made on the night of November 21. Cabrey told the emergency operator he was “terrified and distressed”.

Mr Stephen Bailey, defending, told Stafford crown court the amount of cash Cabrey actually stole was in dispute and could be just £1,600.

Cabrey had been working as a roving pub manager but had developed ‘aspects of financial incompetence.’

While on remand, he had witnessed a prisoner commit suicide and that had left him with post-traumatic stress, said Mr Bailey.

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