A PUB manageress has admitted, ‘dipping her hands into the till’, while tallying up takings at the premises.

But Kathryn Jennings disputes the amount she is alleged to have taken in little more than a year while running The Chester Moor, near Chester-le-Street.

She was arrested amid suspicions over a shortfall in takings at the roadside premises, on the A167, at Chester Moor, last November, when £620 was recovered from her home by police and returned to the business owner.

Following further inquiries, the 33-year-old defendant, of Beechwood Close, Sacriston, was charged with theft by employee, with the amount she is said to have stolen put at £25,989, over a period from October 29, 2016, and November 8, last year.

Appearing at a plea hearing at Durham Crown Court, she admitted theft, but her counsel, Amrit Jandoo, said she does not agree with the amount she is said to have taken.

Asked by Judge Christopher Prince what amount she does accept stealing, Mr Jandoo said: “It’s round about £6,000.”

Judge Prince said there was little information on the submitted documents as to how the figure was reached.

He said there would have to be a trial of issue, or Newton hearing, in due course so a figure could be agreed, prior to the sentencing hearing.

A timetable was agreed for submission of figures by both the Crown and defence sides, with the hearing date set for September 27.

Bailing Jennings to return for that hearing, Judge Prince told her: “There will have to be this process to determine the basis for sentence, as to just how much you are to be sentenced for taking.”