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Chef releases 20 cockroaches into restaurant kitchen after fight over unpaid holiday pay

Charisa Bossinakis

| Last updated 

Chef releases 20 cockroaches into restaurant kitchen after fight over unpaid holiday pay

A chef who released 20 cockroaches into the kitchen over a public holiday pay dispute has been sentenced.

Metro reported that Tom Williams, 25, left his position at the Royal William IV pub in Lincoln over a pay disagreement on 11 October 2022.

Two days later, Williams was caught on CCTV footage releasing a ‘cockroach bomb’ into the kitchen after sending a threat to the venue saying he would do so.

The prosecution's David Eager said: “He entered the premises and released a number of cockroaches. They are a non-native species of cockroach used to feed snakes and tarantulas.”

Credit: Mode Images / Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: Mode Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Well, that's not exactly the parting gift we had in mind.

The pub lost around £22,000 (AU $38,743) after it was forced to close for a deep cleaning following the former colleague's attack.

According to a victim impact statement read out by the prosecution: “The effect it has had on staff and families is large.


“It isn’t just the finances of the company, it was how the rest of the Royal William team, particularly the kitchen team, are upset with what happened.”

They added: “They were depressed that someone who they worked alongside would be so callous towards them.”

The statement also revealed that William’s actions heavily impacted staff with young families, as parents couldn’t tuck in their children at night due to the rigorous cleaning.

BBC News reported that Jeremy Janes, mitigating, acknowledged Williams had made a number of poor choices.


Yes, 20, to be exact.

Credit: Royal William IV
Credit: Royal William IV

Janes said: "This is a case that is littered with poor choices by this defendant.

"There was a legitimate dispute.


"He made a poor decision to go about getting reconciliation to get, in his mind, some compensation to his perceived loss."

Janes added that the final poor choice was Williams not attending the trial.

Williams entered a guilty plea to burglary with intent to cause criminal damage at the pub and failure to surrender for his trial.

The 25-year-old, who has four previous offences for battery, possession of a bladed weapon, assault, and being drunk and disorderly, was given a 17-month prison sentence suspended for two years.


Judge Catarina Sjolin Knight told the man during sentencing: "One of the messages threatened to 'cockroach bomb the pub'. That is exactly what you did.

"This was revenge, you were targeting them."

Judge Knight added: "You are very immature despite your age. Your son and society in general could benefit from you growing up."

Featured Image Credit: NatureOnline / Alamy Stock Photo. David Askham / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: News, UK News, Crime

Charisa Bossinakis
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