A MAN and a woman from Wrexham admitted selling bathrobes, linen and spa products that had been stolen from a luxury hotel where they both worked.

Gabriel Lichacy, 36, pleaded guilty to stealing items worth around £10,000 from the Carden Park Hotel in Clutton, near Chester, between December 2014 and December 2015.

The goods were then sold through the eBay account of Sarah Barwise, 37, who transferred the money to Lichacy.

At Chester Crown Court, Barwise pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering, a charge also admitted by Lichacy, while the pair were in a relationship.

Polish national Lichacy, of Cheshire View, Brymbo, was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for two years, and must carry out 200 hours of unpaid work in the community.

Barwise, of Hinsley Drive, Wrexham, was handed a 12-month community order and must do 100 hours of unpaid work.

Michael Whitty, prosecuting, told the court the police had been called to the four-star hotel following reports that a smoke bomb had gone off on the premises.

The incident was unrelated, but it led officers to arrest Lichacy and obtain a search warrant for his home.

It was then that they discovered numerous boxes of bathrobes, linen, towels, table cloths and a “significant quantity” of spa products.

“These were complimentary for the guests, but not for the staff,” Mr Whitty said.

“And certainly not in those numbers,” added Judge Simon Berkson.

Colleagues reported that Barwise had been “behaving oddly” at the time and senior managers interviewed her on two occasions after starting their own investigation.

She made “significant admissions” during the second interview, Mr Whitty said.

Police investigators revealed the items recovered from Lichacy’s home were worth around £3,300 but eBay records showed goods worth around £6,600 had already been sold over that year.

“The overall value of the enterprise was around £10,000,” said Mr Whitty.

If the pair cannot repay the cash they owe, they will see their assets seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

In their defence, the court heard that neither had previous convictions and Lichacy was a “hard-working” man who sent money back to his family in Poland.

Both had pleaded guilty – albeit on the first day of their trial – and were both “embarrassed and ashamed” by their actions.

The judge said: “You [Lichacy] were stealing anything you could really lay your hands on in the role you had at the hotel. And Miss Barwise, you were simply assisting Mr Lichacy with his crime, you being in a relationship with him at the time."

He added: “I accept there is remorse. Due to your previous good character and pleas neither of you will go to prison.”