A RESTAURANT manager stole more than £1,000 from his employers to feed a cocaine habit, a court heard.

Arcangelo Ambrosio appeared at South Cumbria Magistrates' Court in Barrow, where he pleaded guilty to taking £1,305 from an Italian restaurant in Bowness.

District judge Gerald Chalk was told the 30-year-old worked as the manager at Caffe Riva in St Martin's Square and stole the money over a three-month period.

The court heard his behaviour had led to the breakdown of his marriage.

The prosecution said Ambrosio had taken the money between December 1 2018 and February 14 2019.

It was said his employers first became aware of his crimes when the restaurant's operations manager noticed discrepancies in the till book.

Ambrosio was said to have taken full amounts from customers at a time when a 15 per cent discount for locals was in place and removed the difference from the till.

Representing Ambrosio, Maureen Fawcett said the defendant had experienced a number of personal difficulties in his life since committing the offence.

She said: "Mr Ambrosio made full admissions when he was confronted by his business.

"He used the money to fund a cocaine habit.

"He realises it has ruined his marriage. He and his partner have split up over it.

"Word has got round and made it difficult for him to find employment."

The court was told he had moved in with his brother.

Ambrosio, of Kendal Road, Windermere, was sentenced to 160 hours of unpaid work in the community by Mr Chalk.

The defendant was also ordered to pay back the money he stole from the restaurant in compensation.

He will pay it back at a rate of £28 per month.

He was judged not to have had the means to pay a victim surcharge of prosecution costs.

For anyone struggling with a drug problem, local advice can be obtained by calling Cumbria Drug and Alcohol Cumbria Alcohol and Drug Advisory Service on 0300 111 4002.