An Aldi employee stuffed more than £12,000 in takings down his trousers before blowing it on drugs and prostitutes, a court heard.
Steven Pyle, 34, stole the cash in a bid to ‘go out with a bang’, two days after handing in his notice unexpectedly.
But the supermarket worker, who had a £150-per-day cocaine habit, was caught out when G4S security officials arrived on May 3 to empty the safe and noticed three money bags were missing.
He was filmed on CCTV shoving money bags down his trousers while trying but failing to conceal his crime at a branch of the supermarket in Stamfordham, Newcastle.
Pyle was battling life as a ‘functioning drug addict’ and had come close to suicide but has since sought out help, Newcastle Crown Court heard.
Prosecutor Jenny Haigh said: ‘G4S counted the bags and noticed there were 22 but the computer said there should be 25.
‘There was concern three bags were missing.’
‘They looked at the CCTV where Mr Pyle was the person who was dropping the cash bags in.
On closely looking, the defendant seemed to mark up the bags as normal but instead of dropping them in the safe as she should, he seems to conceal them in the front of his trousers while his back is turned away from the CCTV camera.’
Mr Recorder Matthew Happold warned Pyle he was ‘very close’ to going to prison.
Sentencing him to six months behind bars, suspended for a year, the judge told Pyle: ‘Instead of putting cash bags into the safe, you put them down your trousers at the Aldi store in Stamfordham Road, Newcastle.
‘The pre-sentence report says at the time you had decided to take your own life and you wanted to go out with a bang.
‘You took the bags with the intention of replacing it with your gambling winnings.
‘The report says you essentially blew it on drugs and prostitutes.’
Pyle must also complete 80 hours unpaid work and undergo rehabilitation requirements including alcohol treatment.