Chef trashes pub by super-gluing doors and leaving beer pumps on in wages row


Graeme McLaughlin super-glued doors, spray-painted smiley faces on the walls and opened pumps so beer poured onto a bar floor at the two pubs in Gwynedd, Wales

Valerie Thomas and her partner David Cattrall ran three pubs – the Royal Goat, pictured, The Saracen’s Head in Beddgelert and the Brondanw Arms in Llanfrothen

A chef vandalized two pubs in Wales causing £13,000 damage in a “revenge attack” when he became embroiled in a wages dispute with the owners.

Graeme McLaughlin super-glued doors, spray-painted smiley faces on the walls, opened pumps so beer poured onto a bar floor and left water taps on, causing a ceiling to collapse, because he believed he was due money.

A judge called it a “revenge attack” at the businesses in Wales but spared McLaughlin jail because he has stopped drinking, has a young son and has moved back to Scotland, North Wales Live reported.

The defendant, who pleaded guilty to five counts of criminal damage, was given a 20-month jail term suspended for 20 months.

Prosecutor Jade Tufail said Valerie Thomas and her partner David Cattrall ran three pubs – the Royal Goat and The Saracen’s Head in Beddgelert and the Brondanw Arms in Llanfrothen, in Gwynedd in the north west of Wales.







The Brondanw Arms in Llanfrothen
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Image:

Daily Post Wales WS)

She said head chef Graeme McLaughlin had asked Ms Thomas for payment for what he claimed were hours he had worked in 2020.

The defendant was “difficult” and following the discussion he was demoted from Head Chef to Sous Chef.

He later told staff at the Saracen’s Head that if he didn’t get the money he would “smash up” the premises.

In September 2020, I have left a note with the message: “To Valerie. You’re ac***.” And the following day Ms Thomas found her Mercedes’ rear window had been smashed and the side scratched with a key.

Ms Thomas was left “very emotional and upset”. The court heard the defendant had gone to Wilko in Porthmadog to buy superglue, paint and a bar to prize open doors.

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Soon afterwards, staff at the Saracen’s Head found door locks had been superglued, smiley faces had been daubed on the walls in black spray paint and CCTV cameras had also been spraypainted.

Five draft beer pumps had also been left running, flooding the bar floor. Tills, two card payment machines and an Apple Mac had been broken. Mr Cattrall’s Ford Mondeo was also damaged and a tire punctured.

At another pub owned by the pair, the Brondanw Arms, upstairs taps had been left running, with plugs left in, until the weight of water caused part of a ceiling to collapse. A van owned by Ben Tompkins was also damaged in Llanfrothen.

Police were called and McLaughlin was arrested by West Mercia Police on September 19, 2020. He denied causing criminal damage but later admitted the offenses.

Richard Edwards, defending, said there had been a dispute between the defendant and the complainant about hours and wages – and it is continuing. However, the defendant accepts he tried to resolve it in the “wrong way” and should have gone through the “proper channels”.

He regrets his behavior and is ashamed. Alcohol has been a significant problem since the death of his mother, when he was 14.

The judge Her Honor Judge Nicola Saffman told McLaughlin, now of Annan Road, Ecclefechan, south west Scotland, he had caused damage costing £13,315 in a “revenge attack.”

It was also while businesses were trying to recover from the effects of the pandemic, she added.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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