While working at Asda in Portadown a 19-year-old man stole cash and gave away ‘Bags for Life’ for free, Craigavon Magistrates Court heard last Friday.
Ryan Swaffield, Cloncarrish Road, Portadown, admitted that between April 2 and April 13 this year he stole £280 in cash from Asda.
He also admitted that between March 30 and April 13 he failed to charge customers for ‘Bags for Life’ which were valued in total at £3.80.
Swaffield was given 200 hours community service and ordered to pay £283.80 in restitution.
The case had been adjourned from a previous court so that a pre-sentence report could be obtained.
A public prosecutor said that police received a report of cash having been stolen by a staff member at Asda.
The defendant had removed cash from the tills and given bags to customers without charging for them.
The prosecutor explained that Swaffield had been putting notes in the corner of the till so he could pull them out and then put them under his legs. When interviewed he admitted the offences.
A solicitor representing Swaffield handed in to the court a letter from the defendant’s mother and one from the pastor of his church.
He said that the defendant’s mother outlined in her letter that her son had panicked in desperation at having to pay for car repairs although this in no way excused his behaviour.
The solicitor said this was out of character for his client and the letter from his pastor showed he contributed greatly to youth activities at the church. Swaffield had no record.
He explained that the defendant was giving the bags away free because at the time he had only recently been put on the tills and there was some confusion over scanning the bar codes.
The solicitor added that Swaffield was worried about scanning the wrong code and getting into trouble with his team leader. In the pre-sentence report he was assessed as a low risk of re-offending.
District Judge Benita Boyd said she would take into account what was said but pointed out that this was a breach of trust case which put it into the higher category of offending.