Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Indian waiter killed himself over stolen tips

A 22-year-old junior waiter working on board a cruise ship hanged himself after being caught stealing tips from a restaurant, an inquest heard.

Sumith Gawas, from Collem, Goa, in India, killed himself in his cabin on the P&O Cruise ship Arcadia while it was docked in Southampton.

Mr Gawas was caught emptying the tips box by his colleagues in a self-service restaurant on 16 July this year.

Deputy Southampton Coroner Gordon Denson recorded a verdict of suicide.

The coroner said the shame of the theft had clearly led to him taking his life.

More money discovered

The inquest heard when Mr Gawas was confronted by his supervisor, Dharmendra Jadav, he tried to hide £140 in notes but they were found nearby.

The worker - described as popular - was one of the key-holders for the box, in which passengers could leave tips for crew at the end of a voyage.

After being confronted, Mr Gawas was then told to go to his cabin, the hearing heard.

His body was discovered by his cabin mate Joel Fernandes.

Adrian Prangnell, security officer for P&O Cruises, told the hearing that Mr Gawas had £800 of cash on him, which was more than he would have earned.

He said it appeared the waiter had taken from the box on more than one occasion.

Mr Prangnell added: "Sumith took his own life. He did so as a direct consequence of being discovered stealing monies from the tips box."

The hearing was told police had ruled out any foul play.

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