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Queenstown bartender convicted, fired after wiping friends’ drinks bill

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A Queenstown bartender has been fired, and convicted, for wiping a large booze bill for a group of friends at the pub where he worked. Photo / AP

A Queenstown bartender has been fired, and convicted, for wiping a large booze bill for a group of friends at the pub where he worked.

Joe Nieddu, 29, was acting duty manager at Pub on Wharf bar and restaurant on June 14 when he served 24 free drinks, including shots and cocktails, to a group of patrons he knew.

He also let a $118 bar tab slide for another group of customers, later telling police he did so because they were unhappy with the size of the bill.

During his shift he also consumed four alcoholic drinks without paying for them.

The total loss to the pub was $427.

Nieddu, who admitted a charge of theft in a special relationship, appeared for sentencing in the Queenstown District Court on Monday.

Counsel Bryony Shackell said the defendant, who was relocating to a remote part of Southland, had written an email of apology to his former boss.

Judge Brian Callahan sentenced Nieddu to 65 hours’ community work, and ordered him to pay his former employer $427 reparation.



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