Ballymena Court hears Tesco employee admits stealing over £500 worth of scratchcards

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

AN employee stole more than £500 worth of scratchcards from a Tesco Express store in Ballymena, the town’s Magistrates Court has heard.

Aaron McClean (25), of Crosshill View, Kells, admitted a charge of theft relating to scratchcards valued at £554.

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

The defendant appeared in person at the court, sitting in Antrim, on Thursday, and pleaded guilty.

A prosecutor said 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.

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

The defendant told the court he is now working elsewhere.

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

He said he was adjourning sentencing until October for a pre-sentence report saying he could not guarantee there would be a “non-custodial disposal”.

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