An Aldi worker stole over £12,000 by stuffing the cash down his trousers – before blowing it all on cocaine and prostitutes.
Newcastle Crown Court heard that the defendant, Steven Pyle, was suicidal and planned to “go out with a bang”.
As part of his role at the hugely popular supermarket chain, Pyle, 34, from Newcastle, had to deposit the store’s earnings into an on-site safe before security company G4S came to collect the cash.
But when the company clocked a discrepancy in cash versus earnings, a CCTV check revealed Pyle had been stuffing the money into his trousers, Chronicle Live reported.
The Court heard that this was to fuel a secret cocaine habit that cost Pyle £150 per day.
He was also said to have been downing up to 16 pints of beer, too.
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The defendant, from Benwell in the west of the city, has been given a suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to theft.
Pyle was sentenced to 24 weeks suspended for 12 months with 80 hours unpaid work.
Sentencing him, Recorder Matthew Happold said: “During a three-week period you, instead of putting cash bags in the safe, put them down your trousers.
“When the discrepancy in the money bags was discovered, examination of CCTV revealed what had happened.
“The pre-sentence report and mental health report say that at the time you decided to take your own life but you wanted to go out with a bang.
“The pre-sentence report says you took each bag with the intention of replacing it with your gaming winnings.
“You blew it on drugs and prostitutes. It was a breach of trust. You were trusted to put the money in the safe.”
The court heard the thefts took place between April and May this year and amounted to £12,690.
Ian Cooper/North Wales Live)
An initial check of CCTV suggested there was nothing untoward but suspicion fell on Pyle when he suddenly resigned unexpectedly and refused to work his notice period.
The court heard that three weeks previously he had expressed displeasure about his earnings decreasing but gave no hint he planned to quit.
Tony Cornberg, defending, said: “This case perhaps serves as a reminder that you never really know what’s going on behind the scenes with a person when they finish their shift and go home.
“There was a planned suicide. He was drinking 16 pints of lager a day and taking £150 a day of cocaine secretly.
“He has true remorse about the effect on others.”
The court heard Pyle suffers from anxiety, depression, paranoia and low mood and did make an attempt on his life but was not hospitalised as a result.
He is making efforts to tackle his drug and alcohol issues.