A BARMAN told a court he had altered the takings at Kendal’s Ivy Leaf Club in a bid to ‘flush out’ a suspected thief.

Brian Allen, 55, of Kendal, said he had not mentioned his plan earlier because he wanted to appear at court to reveal what really happened.

“I wanted it to come to court. That’s the reason I didn’t say anything,” he said.

Mr Allen denied six counts of theft from his employer totalling £65.20 and was found not guilty at South Lakeland Magistrates’ Court.

The Low Garth resident was employed as a barman at the club when his employers found inconsistencies in the takings from gaming machines.

As a result they installed CCTV cameras and on six occasions between Septem-ber and November last year they spotted Mr Allen incorrectly inputting orders into the bar till.

His action would have resulted in a surplus of cash in the register at the end of the night.

This, Mr Allen explained, came after £180 of money belonging to a darts club went missing from behind the bar.

“I was suspicious some-one was taking money so I was putting the money in and making it look like the balance was higher than it should have been,” he said.

“I was hoping to get a reaction from someone.”

The court heard that at the end of each night the money from the till was put in a safe behind the bar and was totted up by a com-mittee member the following day.

None of the committee ever reported extra money in the till.

But Mr Allen’s employer, Alec Fleming, admitted there were no cameras in the office, nor was the cashing up done on a formal or rota basis.

Mr Allen denied poc-keting any cash.

“There was method in his madness, to some extent at least,” said Rachel Brough-ton, defending.

“He wanted his day in court to highlight people he thought were responsible.”

But Peter Kelly, prose-cuting, queried the story.

“He’s saying he delib-erately set out to expose another person. Does that ring true or is that dreamed up?”

Mr Allen was found not guilty - although his story was branded ‘totally implausible’ by chair of the bench Eveley Buckley.

However, he added: “The crown has not proved beyond reasonable doubt that any money was misap-propriated.”