Ten months after the dismissal of Barry Colenso, the former Thorntons master chocolatier who trashed the chocolates of a rival retailer, the confectionery retailer has announced his replacement.

Keith Hurdman joins Thorntons from Melt Chocolates, where he had been master chocolatier since August 2006.

He has also completed stints with Rocco Forte Hotels and Betty’s & Taylor’s Group, where he headed up chocolate product development.

“I am very excited to be joining Thorntons,” Hurdman said. “The company has a long heritage of creativity and passion for excellent chocolate. I look forward to building on this tradition and working with my team to provide our customers with the very best of all things chocolate.”

Colenso was dismissed by Thorntons last year after squashing and stamping on chocolates at rival confectionery retailer Hotel Chocolat.