Disgruntled ex-employee stole a laptop from a Derbyshire hotel after he claimed he was owed money

A disgruntled former employee who stole a laptop and other computer equipment from a Derbyshire hotel has been placed on a community order with support to help him overcome problems with alcohol.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on July 30 how Damian Johnson, 46, of Alma Street, Fairfield, Buxton, was seen in the manager’s private office at the Palace Hotel, on Palace Road, Buxton, before he fled with a laptop bag over his shoulder.

The Palace Hotel, at Buxton.

The Palace Hotel, at Buxton.

Prosecuting solicitor Becky Allsop said: “A member of staff described going to the manager’s private office area between 9.30pm and 10pm to collect a phone and walked in to see a male in a tracksuit in the corner of the office.

“They confronted the defendant and asked what he was doing there and he said he had worked at the hotel for four months but he was told it would be reported to the manager and the defendant left with a laptop bag over his shoulder.”

Mrs Allsop added that a member of staff found the laptop near the entrance to the hotel and Johnson was arrested by police a short time later.

Johnson pleaded guilty to entering a property as a trespasser and stealing the laptop, a laptop bag a charger and a mouse after the incident on May 14.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

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He also admitted two counts of failing to surrender to custody at court from May and July after he had previously been released on bail.

Defence solicitor Kirsten Collins said Johnson had been drinking and as a former hotel employee he felt he was still owed money.

She added that Johnson has significant issues with alcohol which have deteriorated after the breakdown of a relationship.

Johnson was sentenced to a 12 month community order with an Alcohol Treatment Requirement and a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.

He was also fined £40 and must pay an £85 victim surcharge and £85 costs.