Wedding chef facing jail after stealing thousands of pounds belonging to Burnley venue

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court

A wedding venue chef pocketed cash handed over by brides and grooms, instead of passing it on to the company, a court was told.

Matthew Patterson-Farnworth, then working self-employed at Burnley Masonic Hall, known as Nelson House, helped himself to almost £4,000, over three occasions.

Burnley magistrates were told how part of his duties had included booking events due to take place at the hall.

The 40-year-old took either deposits or full payments which were for wedding receptions and christenings at the premises.

Mrs Tracy Yates, prosecuting, told the court: ”A number of customers have come forward to say they paid cash directly to the defendant. He provided a receipt, but that cash never made its way to the company.”

The defendant, who had no previous convictions, could be facing a jail term for the breach of trust offences. His contract at the function rooms terminated last October.

Patterson-Farnworth, of Levant Street, Padiham, admitted two counts of theft from the person of another, involving £3,586.60, between August 2nd, 2017 and September 11th, last year and the other involving £250 last October 9th, belonging to the Masonic Hall.

The defendant’s solicitor, Miss Deanne McGinty said: "He is expecting to be sentenced at the crown court.”

Patterson-Farnworth was committed on unconditional bail to the higher court to be sentenced on September 16th.