Worker stole £2,000 in scratch cards
A shop-worker 'abused the trust' of his employers to steal £2,000 worth of scratch cards in an effort to ease his financial troubles.
Nathan Boden, 26, from Nally Drive, Woodcross, Wolverhampton, was working as an assistant manager at the Co-op on Upper Church Lane, Tipton, when he stole 24 boxes of National Lottery scratch cards between December 28, 2016 and May 5 this year.
He appeared at Walsall Magistrates Court on Thursday charged with one count of theft by employee, to which he pleaded guilty.
The court heard that bosses at the shop opened an investigation after discovering the amount of scratch cards they were purchasing came in well above the amount they had been selling.
Prosecuting, Mr Tim Talbot-Webb, said: "Between December and May, the defendant took National Lottery scratch cards from the shop which were meant to be sold on to the public.
"How it works is that a shop buys in the scratch cards, activates them in store using a machine and then puts them up for sale.
"Early in the year, the shops management noticed that they had been buying a lot more scratch cards than records showed they had been selling.
"They launched an investigation and looked back at old CCTV footage, which showed the defendant activating scratchcards in a suspicous manner, as though he was trying to hide something from a camera.
"They then tracked down the numbers of those that had been stolen and found that of the winning scratch cards, all were won by the defendant.
"This wasn't the only case of scratch cards being stolen because although the company can only put the blame at the defendants door for £2,000 worth, they believe they have lost around £5,000 worth.
"He abused the trust of his employer to make financial gains for himself."
Boden, who is of previous good character, told the court that he 'didn't think of the consequences' of his actions and apologised.
Defending himself in court, he said: "I was going through a lot of financial trouble at the time and I still am.
"I had car payments to make, a small child to pay for and another on the way.
"I regret everything and apologise, I didn't think of the consequences at the time but they are obvious to me now."
Chief magistrate Miss Jayne Heathcote ordered that Boden pay back the £2,000, as well as carrying out 150 hours unpaid work, paying £185 in court costs and an £85 statutory surcharge.
She said: "This is a serious crime, but we have also taken into account your good character and remorse."
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