A HOTEL night manager who stole nearly £17,000 of his employer’s money in an attempt to woo a man he wanted to be his lover has been jailed.

Deanardo Blacklaws worked as a senior manager at the Oxford Belfry Hotel in Milton Common for two months last year and within days of starting the role began an elaborate scheme to charm a man he was ‘besotted’ with, Oxford Crown Court heard.

Blacklaws’ ploy started on November 2 when he first used one of the hotel’s chip and pin machines and started to deposit money into four accounts under the pretence they were refunds.

In total he paid out £16,950 from the hotel’s accounts, with the last payment was made on December 13.

All of the accounts that received money belong to people who knew the man Blacklaws said he had fallen in love with – even though the man was already in a relationship with a woman.

Prosecutor Angus Robertson told the court on Tuesday: “He [Blacklaws] said he wanted that money to go to that person because he loved him. He gave that as his motivation.”

Blacklaws, of no fixed abode, was employed in the senior position for just November and December, the court heard, but had been employed in other roles at the hotel since he arrived in the UK from his native South Africa in September 2012.

Graeme Logan, defending, said: “Through a cousin he met the man and embarked on a relationship with him but it would seem that this relationship was one-way, him becoming besotted with [the man] – who was in a relationship with a female, his girlfriend.”

Blacklaws, 29, was arrested on December 29, lost his job and admitted the fraud.

But in a desperate attempt to be able to pay his rent in March, he defrauded another person.

Blacklaws falsely advertised that he had a computer to sell on eBay and a man paid him £560 for the non-existent item.

Blacklaws, who appeared in court via videolink from HMP Bullingdon, had admitted one count of committing fraud by abuse of position and one count of fraud by false representation at a hearing at Oxford Magistrates' Court on July 7.

Mr Recorder Andrew Burrows QC told him he had defrauded the hotel in a 'sophisticated' manner in a crime that 'clearly involved an abuse of trust'.

He sentenced him to 12 months in jail for committing fraud by abuse of position and a six week sentence, to run concurrently, for the second charge.

Blacklaws will not be required to pay any compensation because he has no money, but he must pay a £140 victim surcharge at a later date.