£34K Bill For Shaming Thief

16 February 2011, 10:43 | Updated: 2 March 2011, 13:00

An Essex boss who "humiliated'' an employee by forcing him to parade in public with a sign saying "thief'' around his neck says he doesn't regret his actions.

Simon Cremer said he was "very hurt'' over the betrayal of trust after he found former employee Mark Gilbert, 40, had written a company cheque for £845 to himself.

He says he doesn't his actions as he believed Mr Gilbert's punishment - a police caution - was unjust.

"It is a huge financial burden to have to find this money,'' he said.

"Do I regret what I did? I don't know if I do, to be honest, because the police have given Mr Gilbert a caution for the theft which I don't believe is a just punishment.''

Mr Cremer said he had been "very pleased'' with the support he had received over the incident.

The 46-year-old, who runs a floor-fitting business in Witham forced Mr Gilbert to wear a sign saying "THIEF. I Stole £845. Am on my way to the police station'' in September 2008.

Mr Gilbert was arrested on suspicion of theft but later accepted a police caution. Mr Cremer faced a charge of false imprisonment along with three other men but the case was dropped. The men agreed to be bound over to keep the peace at a hearing before a district judge in Colchester.

Mr Cremer's made an out-of-court settlement to pay £5,000 compensation and nearly £30 000 in legal fees.

He says he'll have to sell his house to try and raise the money.