Jul 11 2012 By Ian Proctor
AN AGGRIEVED bar boss stole savings from the safe in a row over overtime before trying to 'strong-arm' his employers with a threatening text message, a court heard.
Cammy Darar, of Ashton Avenue, Harrow, is alleged to have fled to Scotland after walking off with s9,512.37 cash in till takings, customer deposits and staff tips just two days before he was due to leave his postion as general manager of Peaches Bar and Restaurant, a popular haunt in Kenton Road, Kenton.
Harrow Crown Court heard today the 43-year-old enjoyed a salary of s33,000 with no set hours but 'as per the demands of a senior management position' with a specified minimum average 50-hour week.
There was no contractual provision for overtime pay although he was entitled to four weeks' holiday pay, a potential monthly bonus of s1,000 and 8 per cent of customer cash tips.
It was only during negotations to renew his employment in February 2011 that Darar suddenly demanded additional backdated earnings, prosecutor Dominic Bush told jurors.
Neil Patel, one of three directors of C And R Group that runs the venue, said: "He wasn't on the rota like the other staff and he's saying that anything over 50 hours he had accumulated and that worked out at 56 days' pay.
"He just asserted he should be paid the extra hours he had done. But he had nothing to back that up."
The directors refused his demand for a little more than s6,000 and Darar resigned on February 2 with two months' notice. In the meantime he was given extra days off to try to keep him happy.
However, jurors heard that on March 28 2011 Darar stole a bag containing five days' worth of takings, deposits and tips after cashing up, and was sacked by e-mail the next day by the directors when they discovered the money was missing.
He remained in contact with them via his company mobile telephone and said in a text message he would arrange a handover of the cash, which he suggested he had hidden somewhere in the bar, when he received the full sum he was owed. This was followed by a second longer message.
"It was more threats towards the business itself, if we didn't pay up," said Mr Patel.
"He had no right to take the money or remove it from the safe as I did the banking."
Mr Bush said: "He is a bully and was determined to try to strong-arm a small business into paying him what he was not entitled to.
"The issue in this case is, when he did what he did, was he acting honestly or not."
Darar denies one count of theft and the trial continues.