October 25, 2017 4.34 pm This story is over 50 months old

Stoke Rochford Hall manager who disappeared after stealing over £5k avoids jail sentence

The court heard that the manager was a gambling addict.

A manager at Stoke Rochford Hall who walked out with thousands of pounds from the safe has escaped a jail sentence.

Peter Rogers, who used the money to fund a gambling addiction, disappeared on May 30 this year when he was last seen leaving the premises in a taxi.

Phil Howes, prosecuting, said: “He disappeared with a large amount of cash from the safe. He had responsibility for the safe and he abused the trust placed in him.”

Rogers handed himself in 48 hours later in Grantham Police Station.

When he was interviewed he told police that he had a gambling addiction.

Mr Howes said that Rogers was previously general manager at the Whitworth Hall Hotel in Spennymoor, County Durham, but disappeared with a day’s takings and the bar float less than three weeks after starting the job.

Mr Howes told the court: “He started work on October 20, 2015. He was given a room and a £2,000 resettlement payment. He was also given a company car, an iPad and a mobile phone. He disappeared on the morning of November 7, 2015.”

Rogers, 34, of Belle Vue Grove, Middlesbrough, admitted theft of £5,350 from Stoke Rochford Hall.

He also admitted theft of £2,311 from Whitworth Hall.

Mark Watson, in mitigation, said Rogers has an addiction to gambling but since arrest for his latest offences he has sought help.

“He is seeing a counsellor and he goes to Gamblers’ Anonymous. It is clear that he has a mental illness or a mental disorder.

“He is ordinarily a good person and he clearly has positive qualities. What he hasn’t been able to do is to control his demons.”

Mr Watson said Rogers was very keen to complete a residential program which was available with an organisation which helped gambling addicts.

Rogers was given a 12 month community order with 120 hours of unpaid work.

Recorder Paul Mann QC, passing sentence, told Rogers he was willing to take a chance on him.

The Recorder said: “The root cause of all your offending is a long standing addiction to gambling.

“If it is possible then treatment rather than prison must be the most reliable way of preventing future offending.”

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