Employee at a Ballymena Tesco store who stole over £500 worth of scratchcards receives suspended jail term

The defendant stole the scratchcards whilst working at this Tesco Express store on Ballymena's Ballymoney Road.

AN employee who stole more than £500 worth of scratchcards from a Tesco Express store in Ballymena has been given a six months jail term, suspended for two years.

Aaron McClean (25), of Crosshill View, Kells, admitted a charge of theft relating to scratchcards valued at £554 and the court ordered him to pay back that amount in compensation.

The offences took place between January 10 and February 2 this year.

The defendant had pleaded guilty at an earlier court and the case had been adjourned for sentencing.

A prosecutor told the earlier court the defendant did not have a previous record but that it was a “breach of trust case”.

The prosecutor said on February 7 police were contacted as it was suspected a member of staff at the Tesco Express on Ballymena’s Ballymoney Road was stealing scratchcards.

The court heard a shortfall was noticed and CCTV was viewed which identified the defendant taking scratchcards without paying.

The prosecutor said McClean had been aware CCTV had been viewed and accounts checked and he had texted the store on February 6 and admitted taking the scratchcards and “expressed remorse”.

The next day the defendant handed in a letter of resignation, the court had been told.

When interviewed he made full admissions and was “extremely remorseful” and offered to pay back the money owed.

District Judge Peter King told the earlier hearing that for obvious reasons “courts take an extremely dim view of employees stealing from their place of work”.

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