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Hippodrome ex ring manager jailed

PUBLISHED: 09:25 03 February 2009 | UPDATED: 12:55 03 July 2010

The ex-ring manager of Yarmouth's Hippodrome Circus who stole £28,000 from his former employers was jailed for a year yesterday.

Anthony Rossouw was caught on CCTV using a set of keys to steal the cash from the Hippodrome's safe over several months last year.

The ex-ring manager of Yarmouth's Hippodrome Circus who stole £28,000 from his former employers was jailed for a year yesterday.

Anthony Rossouw was caught on CCTV using a set of keys to steal the cash from the Hippodrome's safe over several months last year.

Rossouw, 45, worked at the popular Hippodrome Circus as a front-house manager and ring manager but left about three years before the thefts.

Norwich Crown Court heard he used a set of keys that he claimed he found when cleaning out his garage to enter the office and steal cash from the safe to help pay for a costly divorce.

Hippodrome owner Peter Jay became suspicious that money was going missing and set up CCTV cameras which caught Rossouw on film entering the office and stealing cash from the safe.

When he was apprehended, Rossouw was found with £1,000 cash on him. In his works van, a holdall containing more than £27,000 was also discovered which he admitted was cash he had taken from the Hippodrome over a period of time.

Rossouw, an ex-trapeze artist from Lexington Close, Hemsby, was jailed for 12 months after he admitted burglary and theft.

There will be a further confiscation hearing in March when it is hoped all the cash recovered will be returned to the Jay family who run the circus.

Judge Alasdair Darroch said: “You went repeatedly back to these premises. You had worked there and knew the system and knew there was likely to be money in the safe.

“Small businesses like this often run on low margins.

“They cannot afford to have their money taken,” he said.

Katharine Moore, in mitigation, said Rossouw found the keys while cleaning out his garage. He had just gone through a divorce and was in emotional turmoil at the time.

The court heard that the divorce had cost him a lot of money and he had had to borrow cash which he was trying to pay back. Rossouw had placed all the stolen cash in the holdall but had not spent any of it.

Ms Moore said: “He could not bring himself to do anything with it.”

She said he was full of remorse for what he had done.

After the hearing, Mr Jay said he could not comment on the sentencing of his former ring manager until the confiscation proceedings were finished.

The Hippodrome, by Yarmouth's seafront, is renowned for its winter and summer spectaculars which are enjoyed by thousands of people in the 105-year-old auditorium.

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