A former manageress at an award-winning gastropub has been jailed for three months after admitted cheating workmates out of £3,700 in tips.
Colleen Usher's colleagues were in court to see her sentenced for the fraud, which was carried out while she worked at the Rose and Crown, in Romaldkirk, County Durham.
Usher, 22, who lives in the nearby village of Middleton-in-Teesdale, admitted theft when she appeared before Bishop Auckland Magistrates Court.
The court heard how Usher, who had worked at the Rose and Crown for five years, had fallen into debt and had tried to cash 14 cheques not made out to her.
Usher's solicitor Robert Hutchinson told the court that Usher took the money after falling £10,000 into debt following the break-up of a relationship.
She had always planned to pay the money back, he said.
The Rose and Crown has won a string of awards, including Michelin Pub of the Year in 2006.
By Nigel Green