Night Porter Stole Wedding Cards And Cash From Hotel 'Safe Room'

Courtesy: Bruce Unwin (Chief Reporter (Durham) | News Source:

THE big day for couples getting married at a country house hotel were marred by the theft of wedding cards and cash gifts last summer.

Complaints were made by six wedding parties reporting the loss of cards, cash and cheques, at the Beamish Hall Hotel, between mid-June and September 1.

Durham Crown Court heard it not only cast a shadow over their wedding days, but also their honeymoons, as they had to make inquiries with guests to help police investigate what was missing.

In some cases, it even brought into question whether someone among the respective wedding parties may be responsible putting a further dampener on the supposed happy occasion.

Martin Towers, prosecuting, said suspicion eventually fell on night porter Andrew Morris, who only began working at the hotel in May.

Cards from some of the weddings affected were found near his home and he was arrested on September 2.

Mr Towers said as night porter Morris had access to a key for a “safe room” where weddings cards, gifts and other valuables were stored.

Two cheques intended for one of the couples, plus cards from two of the other weddings, were found in his car.

Mr Towers said the hotel reimbursed five of the couples affected, while a sixth plan to take civil action.

A statement from Kevin Jones, Beamish Hall’s HR manager, referred to the “negative impact” the offences had on the hotel’s reputation, adding that it was difficult to quantify the long-term damage to the venue.

Statements from the couples affected said it overshadowed their big day as it became the main talking point among guests, in some cases stating it “ruined” what should have been their special occasion.

Morris, 22, of Tay Street, Easington Lane, admitted six counts of theft.

Mr Towers said on his admission he stole £2,805 and one cheque for £100, but the prosecution said the couples estimated the loss to be £5,755 and three cheques for £450.

Tony Cornberg, for Morris said it was, “short-term gain for short-term selfish problem solving” to relieve crippling domestic debts, without thinking of the wider consequences for the victims.

Imposing a 14-month prison sentence, Judge James Adkin told Morris it was “particularly callous” offending, affecting couples, “supposedly enjoying one of the best days of their lives.”

You Might Also Like

Fill the numbers here
If not readable, please refresh.

Popular Posts

Hoteliers In Limelight

Voting Poll