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Hotel manager who stole £107k from family business is jailed

Stewart McIntosh plundered £100,588 from the coffers of the Graham Arms, Longtown. Credit: Cumbria Police

A hotel manager who stole more than £107,000 from a family-run business in Cumbria has been sent to prison for 32 months.

During a seven-year period between 2011 and 2018, 58-year-old gambling addict Stewart McIntosh plundered £100,588 from the coffers of the Graham Arms, Longtown, while he was an “integral part” of the enterprise with day-to-day responsibility for managing the cash.

Carlisle Crown Court heard how McIntosh committed the offence through 859 separate transactions by falsifying hand-written cash sheets which were required for accounting purposes.

During 2018, McIntosh stole a further £6,650 from the business by failing to bank cash that he should have done, trying to “bamboozle and confuse” when quizzed as financial discrepancies began to emerge.

Graham Arms, Longtown. Credit: Google Maps

McIntosh was said to have taken “sophisticated, persistent and ongoing” steps to cover up a crime which, in the final stages, continued even as the business directors were dealing with a family member’s serious illness and, ultimately, death.

His stealing spree was said to have “nearly destroyed” a business with more than a dozen employees, forced the family members to inject large sums of their own money and left them with a tax bill for income which they never saw because McIntosh had pinched it.

“They have endured what they describe as an extremely emotional, traumatic experience as a result of this,” prosecutor Peter Horgan said of the directors.

McIntosh, a man of previous good character who was sacked from the hotel, admitted two theft from employer charges and false accounting. “He feels a great deal of remorse but also shame at the way he has conducted himself,” said his lawyer, David Wales, who gave details of the defendant’s previously secret and “crippling gambling addiction” which lay behind the crime.

McIntosh, of English Street, Longtown, was jailed for 32 months on Friday.

“At 58 years old you are plainly a manipulative and deceitful man,” said Recorder Timothy Hannam QC, who said in reference to the victims: “You looked them in the eyes as you stole from them.“