AN employee has admitted stealing nearly £10,000 from a Wilko store.

Ryan Gillespie pleaded guilty to the theft of £9,600 from an ATM machine based at the store, when he appeared at Worcester Magistrates Court.

The theft from the budget store, in St Andrew’s Square, Droitwich, took place over the course of a month between June 6 and July 6, this year.

Emily Clewer, prosecuting, explained Gillespie, as part of his duties at the store, was in charge of the machine and worked out a way to get round security.

Miss Clewer said: “It was a spate of theft over time.

“In total he had £9,600 from the machine that dispensed cash.

“There was an element of sophistication, he worked out a way to get round it.

“But there was CCTV coverage, and other security measures he was not aware of.

“It was a breach of trust.

“The crown put it at medium culpability.”

Miss Clewer added the 20-year-old had no previous convictions.

Mark Sheward, defending, said Gillespie was a man of previous good character, which was lost to him through pleading guilty.

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Mr Sheward said Gillespie had worked three years at Wilko, before losing the job after his arrest.

“It was part of his responsibility to deal with the ATM,” he said.

“His family had helped him with his debts, but were struggling themselves. He saw an opportunity to pay them back.He thought he recognised an opportunity. He didn’t understand fully the system, and that was why other employees worked it out.

“He accepts full responsibility. He realises the the company should be reimbursed for their loss.”

Simon Morgan, deputy district judge, said: “If everybody stole £9,000 from their work, companies would not be able to employ anybody, because they couldn’t afford it.

“I give you credit for having the good sense to admit the theft - that removed the need by the police to have had to carry out a full investigation.”

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Gillespie was given a community order, which will require him to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work, which he will be required to complete within a year.

He was warned if he breached the order, he would be brought back to court and there would be a risk of prison.

He was also ordered to pay compensation of £9,600, being required to pay £1,100 by October 31, and £100 a month after that.