Employee stole £8.5k from Poundland to fund his gambling addiction
A Poundland supervisor who stole £8,500 from a safe to fund his gambling addiction has walked free from court after his 15-month jail term was suspended for three years.
Belfast Crown Court Judge Patrick Lynch QC told 40-year-old Scott McKnight he was only suspending the sentence because having already spent four months in custody, he could see no advantage in sending him back to jail.
McKnight, with an address at the Simon Hostel on the Cliftonville Road in Belfast, pleaded guilty to three counts of theft amounting to £8,500.
Prosecuting lawyer Douglas Edmondson told the court that police were first called in on September 28 last year when £1,000 was taken from the safe at the Poundworld shop on Donegall Place.
McKnight, a supervisor at the shop, was one of four keyholders interviewed but he denied taking the cash despite records showing that he accessed the store after hours.
On October 7, a further £7,500 was stolen from the safe and again police spoke to McKnight after they “ascertained that the only person who could have had access to the safe was the defendant”.
After being arrested, McKnight admitted the thefts.
His defence lawyer said the father of one took the money to feed a chronic gambling addiction which has cost him a marriage and now two jobs.