Stephen Terry's restaurant The Hardwick to close after 18 years of service

The Staff Canteen

Stephen Terry has announced he will close his restaurant The Hardwick after a married couple stole £150,000 from it.

The decision to close the restaurant comes after Nicola Nightingale, a former employee of Stephen, stole £150,000 from the restaurant and transferred £46,000 into the account of her husband Simon.

Announcing the news on social media, Stephen thanked all staff and customers, adding: "It's been emotional. Onwards and upwards".

In March 2020, Stephen became suspicious of Nicola Nightingale's behaviour and tried to contact her and her husband about irregularities in the accounts.

Neither of the pair replied when contacted, with Nicola shortly resigning as the restaurant's office administrator via an email.

As a result, Stephen contacted the police who discovered that over a two-year period she had transferred almost £47,000 into her husband's bank account, made direct payments of more than £50,000 to herself, inflated her wages by £6,000, and made additional payments of £47,000 to herself disguised as paid wages.

It was also revealed that two £40,000 loans had been taken out in Stephen's name without his permission.

Cardiff Crown Court heard that Nicola Nightingale used the money to fund a spending addiction.

During Simon Nightingale's trial, it was revealed that some of the money was spent on holidays abroad - including trips to Eurodisney, Disney World Florida, France and anniversary stays in Morocco.

Nicola Nightingale pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position, and Simon Nightingale was found guilty of acquiring criminal property after a trial.

Outside court, Mr Terry said he was "gobsmacked" by the judge's decision not to give the couple a prison sentence.


A post shared by The Hardwick (@the_hardwick)

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 2nd October 2023

Stephen Terry's restaurant The Hardwick to close after 18 years of service