A rampant gambling habit
Ms Fairley said enquiries showed the father-of-two was placing large-scale bets, in excess of £20,000, during an 18-day period, prior to the fake robbery, with a loss of £2,500. She added it was obvious that Calden had stolen the cash to offset those losses.
The court heard that in December 2013, Calden stole £1,700 from a safe at South Cliff Golf Club, where he worked as a bar supervisor.
He raided the safe during another gambling spree. Calden also denied that offence but was found guilty by a jury in October 2014 and given a sixmonth suspended jail term. analysis showed no signs of a robbery at the shop.
Calden was duly arrested and charged with perverting the course of justice. He initially denied the offence but pleaded guilty a few weeks before trial.
Ms Fairley said the cut to Calden’s head must have been self-inflicted as part of his outrageous ruse.
He dialled 999 at about 10.40am on June 30 last year “to report there had been a knifepoint robbery in the shop”.
Police immediately launched a high-cost operation using more than 70 hours of police resources including firearms officers who were called in from Stokesley.
The e-cig company had “suffered very substantially” due to the theft and had to close one of its other stores in Scarborough.
His lawyer Keith Whitehouse said Calden – who has latterly been working for Land Rover – had been fighting his addiction for a long time and is getting help from a gamblingsupport group, but was “robbing Peter to pay Paul”.
Judge Alistair Macdonald QC blasted Calden for wasting hard-pressed police resources and causing a major scare in a town packed with shoppers and tourists at peak season.
Calden was jailed for 15 months on Friday.