Butcher gets suspended sentence for stealing £1800 from the till of St John’s Wood butchers Kent & Sons

Kent & Sons in St John's Wood High Street. Picture: Google Street View

Kent & Sons in St John's Wood High Street. Picture: Google Street View - Credit: Archant

A butcher has been given a suspended sentence for stealing £1800 in cash from the till of a butchers in St John's Wood.

Lee Rafis of Lymington Road in West Hampstead pleaded guilty to stealing £1800 from the till of Kent & Sons butchers in St John's Wood High Street, where he had worked for 11 years.

The court heard he had taken the amount between July 6 and August 1 last year.

The butchers' owner, Kevin Kilkenny told the Ham&High that he had noticed money going missing from the till when he cashed up at the end of each working day.

He then decided to mark some bank notes, put them in the till and looked on CCTV. He saw Rafis taking them and confronted him, to find Rafis had the notes in his pockets when he turned them out.

Kevin sacked Rafis and then rang police. He went on to give evidence against his former employee in court last week.

Kent & Sons has been in St John's Wood High Street for a century this year. It has also appeared in hit BBC crime drama Killing Eve.

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The 34-year-old was given a 20-week suspended sentence by district judge Sandhu at Westminster Magistrates Court on Thursday.

District judge Sandhu told him to pay £1800 in compensation to his former employer, as well as a £122 victim surcharge. He had pleaded guilty at a hearing on June 27.

The sentence is suspended for a year, and he will have to do 180 hours of unpaid community service.

Kevin said: "It was a stressful period in the shop at the time with family illnesses, and we were all under pressure. He saw his opportunity and went to town on it.

"I started noticing discrepancies at the end of the day. I worked out who was doing it and used CCTV to catch him."

Kevin, who has worked at Kent and Sons since 1989 said he was satisfied with the sentence.

"The process was the process, and the outcome was the outcome. The police and CPS did a great job, and I couldn't speak any higher of them."