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Hotel worker behind bars after £3k 'revenge' theft

Hotel worker behind bars after £3k 'revenge' theft

Saturday 07 December 2019

Hotel worker behind bars after £3k 'revenge' theft


A sacked hotel worker, who was arrested at the airport as he attempted to make a getaway after stealing £3,000 of his former colleagues' money in an act of 'revenge', has been jailed for two years.

Paul Lee Davison (31), a native of County Durham in England, committed the offence little more than a year after being sentenced for a burglary in Guernsey.

He went on to take up a job as an  Assistant Food and Beverage Manager at the Pomme d’Or, but left in August after a missing company laptop and projector were found in his bedroom.

Days later, he robbed a safe containing money belonging to staff from the hotel - an offence for which he appeared in the Royal Court yesterday, facing one count of illegal entry and larceny. 

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Pictured: Davison was sentenced in Royal Court on Friday.

His lawyer, Advocate John McCormick, told Court the offence was a revengeful act, as Davison had lost his new job after the new manager had spoken to the Pomme d’Or.

The Court heard he used a staff key card, which had been created in the name of the General Manager whilst Davison was still working at the hotel, to get into the building. 

He then used the same card to enter the duty manager’s office, where a safe containing £3,334.32 in cash as well as bookkeeping documents and several IOU notes, was kept. 

The safe was a 'HR personal gratuity safe', whose contents were mainly used to help staff in need and to organise events like the annual staff Christmas party. 

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Pictured: Davison was seen on CCTV entering and leaving the hotel around 03:14 in the morning.

CCTV footage showed Davison, wearing a fur-hooded parka jacket and shielding his face from the camera, entering from a staff entrance at around 03:14 on 24 August and leaving 15 minutes later, carrying a large cardboard box. 

The Duty Manager noticed the safe was missing a few hours later after this. He identified Davison on the CCTV images and contacted the police.

Davison was subsequently arrested at Jersey Airport, with £1,463 in cash in his wallet, as he was about to leave the island. 

When searching Davison’s home, officers found a khaki parka jacket with a fur-lined hood and a large cardboard box addressed to the Pomme D’or. In the bins, they found a black metal safe, containing a number of documents and IOU sticker notes.

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Pictured: Davison was arrested as he was about to fly to the UK.

Davision initially denied he was the man in the CCTV footage, saying he would have been asleep and had been with a friend at the time.

When shown the access key card, he said he had never been shown how to log into the system, adding: “I haven’t done this. I haven’t done this.”

It was only after officers told him they had found the safe and other items in his home that Davison admitted it was him. 

He explained he had “got pissed and gone there and done that”, as he was turned down from a job due to the missing laptop and projector incident at the Pomme d’Or. 

Davison claimed there was only about £1,000 in the safe, but the funds sheets in the safe showed there was £3,334.32.

Davison said he needed the money to go home, assuring he had earned some of it. 

He also said he had spent the money on an expensive dinner with his girlfriend before “panic set in” and he booked a flight home.

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Pictured: The Court heard Davison had previously been jailed for burglary.

Crown Advocate Emma Hollywood told Court that Davison had eight convictions for 13 offences, including burglary, theft and a post office robbery for which he was sentenced to four years in prison. She described a “pattern of dishonest behaviour”, and said Davison’s most recent offence was a burglary that took place in Guernsey in April 2018.

She said Davison’s motive had been revenge and that the fact he was carrying a staff key card indicated an “element of preplanning”. “It wasn’t a spur of the moment decision,” she added. 

She recommended a two-year prison sentence, as well as a compensation order in favour of the Pomme d’Or employees, to be started six months after Davison’s release. 

Advocate McCormick told Court his client “sincerely regretted his actions”.

He said that, although Davison had previous convictions, he had also held employment several years at a time while his work ethic had been commended by the probation service in the UK. 

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Pictured: A former employee of Davison wrote to the Court in his favour.

One of Davison’s former employers wrote to Court, telling them he would always have a job with them.

Advocate McCormick said Davison had shown a real potential and desire to improve, making a constructive use of his time at La Moye by working in the prison kitchen.

The lawyer said Davison had spent the equivalent of five months in custody, which he argued was “a significant punishment itself”.

He said the sentence sought by the Crown was too high and suggested an 18-month sentence or a community service order.

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Pictured: The Court decided to sentence Davison to two years in prison.

Returning the Court’s sentence, Royal Court Commissioner Julian Clyde-Smith, who was sitting with Jurats Rozanne Thomas and Elizabeth Dulake, said that the offences were aggravated by Davison’s previous convictions for dishonesty.

He also referred to "breach of trust", as Davison had used a staff key, the element of pre-planning to his actions, and the fact Davison had stolen money belonging to employees. 

He disagreed with Advocates McCormick’s suggestion that a two-year prison was too high and sentenced him accordingly. 

Despite the Court’s sympathy with employees of the Pommer d'Or, the Commissioner said they had declined making a compensation order, as Davison had no money and the order couldn’t be enforced.

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