Former employee stole from bar

Mathew Hamish Wedd had a set of keys and knew the security code to the Dunedin pub where he used to work.

He knew there would be cash in the till and the place would be deserted in the early hours.

But, crucially, what Wedd did not know was that since his employment had ended, North Dunedin's Inch Bar had had security cameras installed.

The 29-year-old student appeared in the Dunedin District Court last month after pleading guilty to two counts of burglary.

Wedd sat down with bar management after admitting the crimes and his written apology is on the wall of the establishment so all patrons can view it.

''Inch Bar locals,'' the defendant wrote. ''Whilst working at the bar I came to understand that Inch was a good place that you would all come and unwind, share a drink or two with friends, and have a good time. The bar was treated like a home away from home. This means that through my selfish choices, I in essence stole from you all as well, and betrayed a trust that had been placed in me. These are my mistakes and I must take responsibility for this.''

Wedd had worked at the pub as a casual manager between September 2017 and June 2018, after which he was not offered further shifts.

On March 30 at 5.10am, he went to the premises and used a set of keys he had never returned to enter through a back door.

Once inside, he disabled the alarm and found the back-up till float he knew would be hidden in a cupboard.

He took $100, reactivated the alarm and slipped back out, locking the door behind him.

Several days later, Wedd was back.

He repeated the steps to get in and this time removed $150 from the till along with a couple of bottles of craft beer from the fridge.

After discovering the cash was missing, bar management trawled through the late-night footage and found the culprit.

Wedd, counsel Campbell Savage said, had a ''bit of a psychiatric background''.

The defendant described the double break-in as ''a dumb decision'' and said he was in ''a bad head space'' at the time.

Judge Michael Crosbie noted Wedd had previous convictions for theft in a special relationship and using a document which were directly relevant.

He sentenced the defendant to six months' home detention.

If Wedd served half that term without breach, the judge said he would convert the remainder to community detention, community work and supervision.

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