NATHAN Hatter, the former general manager at the Brunel Rooms, has spoken out after being cleared of allegations of theft after an incident at the club on New Year’s Eve.

At 2.30am director Helene Simpkins reported that Nathan had stolen a substantial amount of money from the premises.

The amount alleged to have been taken varied from £12,000 to £30,000.

Nathan was arrested at Gatwick airport but the charges against him have been dropped.

He has now spoken out about the incident and his decision to quit after hearing rumours of being replaced as general manager.

“It was common knowledge that I was due to go straight from the club to the airport on New Year’s Eve, it was a trip planned months ago to visit my partner’s family in Spain,” he said.

“I had no intention of returning after my trip and had told police licensing I would be leaving.

“I had planned to tell the directors on the night that I would not be returning, but after hearing yet more comments about the plan to replace me, I decided just to walk away.

“It's clear this decision had provoked a lot of anger as, after I left, the directors told the police I had stolen £25,000 and made a run for it to the airport.

“I was arrested at Gatwick with nothing on me and the ridiculous charges were dropped.

”I am not aware of any civil proceedings against me. I had written confirmation from the directors I would be paid in cash that night.

“While I was being interviewed by the police I was presented with reports from the tills with certain sections highlighted.

“These were the grand totals the tills had taken since we opened, not the net sales of that particular evening.

“So it would seem to me, either they tried to put the boot in because I had quit, or their sheer incompetence meant they could not correctly read the reports of their own tills.

“In either case, I was cleared of the charges, given back my luggage and told to go and enjoy my trip, which I did.”

In a report prepared for the licence review into the premises, which has now been cancelled, licensing officer for Swindon Sian Kalynka said: “There was very little knowledge about how much was contained in the premises and the investigation into the theft of monies has uncovered poor management at the premises.

“Management eventually worked out that there was £3,000 of takings missing from the club and £2,400 of that was banked by Nathan as owed wages. The disputed amount is that of £600.”

DC Matt Lewis, in a report into the incident, said: “I can only describe the running of the club as haphazard.

“Paula Harris (former director of the club) states that Hatter is paid in cash as he insists on this method of payment.

“There does not appear to be a set procedure of how they pay the staff and it is possible Hatter pays himself.

“The discovery of the missing money was made when Jason Ranford (former director of the club) went to the tills to take some money to pay the DJ and the lighting engineer. Money is taken from the till and then an invoice is submitted. This whole process is open to fraud.”

In a witness statement on January 1, director Paula Harris told police: “Nathan was working until 5am but at roughly 2.30am Nathan could not be found. I went to check the safe and found that all the cash bags were in the safe but empty.

“I then realised that there was a lot of money missing from the club. I have come back in the following day and after checking the automated system the club is down roughly £11,000. No one authorised Nathan to take any money out of the club.”