A highly regarded charity worker spent more than £4,000 belonging to the organisation using a company debit card entrusted to him, a court heard.
The charity, which helps adults with their addictions, was “profoundly shocked and saddened” by the betrayal, one of the bosses told magistrates.
Anthony Hall, from Walsall, spent the money in just a month on “nothing in particular” before throwing the card in a bin to avoid further temptation, said Mr Roger Bleazard, prosecuting.
The senior support worker, aged 24, who worked with the vulnerable and homeless, spent “as though he had won the money,” he said.
Hall made 25 transactions between January 2 and February 1 this year, withdrawing cash and making purchases on the charity’s Lloyd’s TSB account to the value of £4,430.
He was employed by Connex Ltd, a charity which runs The Glebe Centre, in Wednesbury Road, Walsall. Company secretary Stewart Prebble asked the court whether he could speak in support of his former employee.
He told magistrates: “He is a very fine young man who worked hard for the charity. I couldn’t speak more highly of him before this incident.
“When a job opened up during his work placement, we took the opportunity to take him on.
“We were absolutely confident in in putting him in a position of trust when a previous employee defrauded us.
“If this had not happened he would be leaving us with a first-class recommendation and a very good reference. It has been a matter of profound shock and we are all disappointed and saddened by Anthony. I just hope he learns from this experience and rebuilds his life.”
The court heard that Hall is about to become a father for the second time.
Mrs Sheila Hicklin, defending, said he had no previous convictions for dishonesty. When police were called in, he had made an immediate admission and was very remorseful.
She said: “He couldn’t tell me why he had done it. He loved the job he had got. It seems to have been a moment of madness. I asked him whether he had any problems but there appears to have been no motivation. It seems to be the case that the card was there and so he used it.”
The case was adjourned until Wednesday for a pre-sentencing reports. Hall, of Valley Road, Blakenall, in Walsall, who pleaded guilty to fraud, was given unconditional bail.