The hotel manager, 26 from Holsworthy, pleaded guilty to defrauding his employer for £26k using fake refunds.

A Bournemouth hotel manager has been jailed for 27 months for stealing £26,000 from his employer.

Thomas Lees, of Holsworthy, pleaded guilty to four counts of theft at Bournemouth Crown Court in November.

He was sentenced at the same court on Friday.

The court heard Lees, 26, was working as assistant manager of the Cumberland Hotel in East Overcliff Drive, when it was discovered he had been refunding ficticious bottles of spirits and other high value times and pocketing the money himself.

Lees used other staff member’s names to facilitate the transactions and try to cover his tracks.

An audit was carried out, revealing Lees had been committing the offences for more than two years.

Police searched his accommodation and found £4,000 in casino bags.

Further invesigations found Lees had also issued fictitious refunds at the Suncliffe sister hotel, where he worked for six weeks in July 2012.

Detective constable Karen Penn, of Bournemouth CID, said: “Lees used his position at the hotel to defraud his employers of a large amount of money over a sustained period. He clearly thought he was going to get away with it.

“I hope the sentence handed to Lees sends out a very strong message.”