St Albans restaurant worker caught stealing sentenced in court

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A restaurant worker caught by the police in St Albans stealing his manager’s bag has been sentenced to 80 hours’ unpaid work.

Mark Lilley, 23, of College Street, Kempston, pleaded guilty to burglary on the morning of his trial, held yesterday (Wednesday) at St Albans Crown Court.

The restaurant worker left Bill’s Restaurant at the end of his shift at 11pm, but nearly three hours later, on June 27 in 2013, he clambered over a wall to get into the yard in Chequer Street.

However the manager, who was working late, heard a bang and called the police at about 2am, the court was told.

Prosecutor Richard Paton-Philip said officers saw Lilley acting suspiciously in a car park nearby, in London Road.


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He was wearing a hoodie and black gloves and was holding the bag belonging to the manager.

Lilley told the police he had simply gone back to the restaurant to get his mobile phone charger. When he was there he said he saw a bag and thought it belonged to a friend so he took it.

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Andrew Kerry, defending, said Lilley was now getting his “life sorted out”.

He said he was helping to bring up two step-daughters with his partner, who is expecting their child next week. Lilley said he had been out of work, but was due to start an agency job in Northampton as a driver’s mate.

He asked the judge not to send him straight to prison.

Judge John Plumstead agreed, but said: “He has got to behave himself or someone will lock him up. He should try to set a decent example to his children.”

The judge passed a nine-month jail sentence suspended for 18 months with 80 hours’ unpaid work.

He told Lilley: “I don’t want to see you again and you don’t want to see me again.”

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