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Thief who lied to get job stole cash from firm.

A THIEF with more than 100 convictions went on the run with his employer's cash - after hiding his record to get the job.

Darran Hardy filled out an application to become a team leader with a North East pub chain. Part of the form asked is he had any convictions not "spent" as a rehabilitated defender.

Hardy - who had almost three decades of dishonesty behind him - answered 'no' and got the nod over other hopefuls.

But just weeks into his new post the 38-year-old did a runner with pounds 3,105 takings and almost pounds 1,000 from a cash machine at the Millers Inn, Sunderland.

He spent all the cash by the time he returned from Bournemouth to face the music two months later. Now Hardy, of Park Row, Sunderland, is beginning a two-year prison sentence after admitting fraud and theft.

Judge Esmond Faulks told him: "The aggravating features are that the theft was clearly a gross breach of trust, you were subject a community order at the time, and you have a substantial number of previous convictions for dishonesty. There is really no mitigation. It is not as if you were in debt or under pressure.

"You saw the opportunity to steal a large amount of your employer's money and then ran off to the South of England.

"It seems to me in the circumstances only a custodial sentence is appropriate."
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 4, 2010
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