A licensee disappeared with thousands of pounds of cash and stock from his pub.
Landlord David Edwards had only been at the Royal Oak, in Crown Green, Rothley, for a month before he cleaned the place out.
Leicester Crown Court was told the 42-year-old had a drink problem which had spiralled out of control.
He admitted theft by an employee of £4,657 in cash and £3,966 in stock and fittings.
He was given an eight-month jail sentence, suspended for 18 months, with supervision, and ordered to complete 180 hours of unpaid work.
The court was told Edwards is now unemployed and living in a bedsit in St Marychurch Road, Torquay.
He was ordered to pay £960 towards compensating his employers, GT Pubs Ltd, at the rate of £10 a week, from his benefit money.
Jonathan Eley, prosecuting, said Edwards had worked as a barman for the company for two years, in another part of the country, before taking over as the licensee at the Royal Oak in April.
By May 15, he had missed banking the takings and GT Pubs was notified by the bank.
Mr Eley said: "They couldn't get hold of him and when they went round on May 16 they discovered he had gone.
"The money and stock had been taken and a gaming machine broken into.
"About £2,000 worth of newly-delivered stock was missing.
"He had emptied the pub of all its worth. The total lost by the business was £8,624."
Edwards forfeited a £2,000 bond he deposited with the company when he took over the pub.
Mr Eley said that by-passers had noticed things being loaded into a van the day before.
Edwards later left a remorseful phone message for his employers.
He was arrested on July 3 in Torquay, for being drunk, and it was discovered he was wanted in connection with the pub theft.
Gareth Weetman, representing Edwards, said: "It happened when his life was starting to come off the rails.
"He was drinking 24/7, bringing in cans so he didn't take it from the pumps.
"He has been devastated by the consequences of his own actions."
Sentencing, Judge Ebraham Mooncey said: "You knew you were in a high degree of trust."