A Sainsbury’s employee who stole £1679.85 over a four week period from the store did so because he was being threatened.

George Oliver Samuel Turner, 18, of New Portreath Road, Redruth, pleaded guilty to stealing from the company between December and January. He had no previous convictions.

His solicitor William Hazelton told Truro magistrates that he was being threatened and told to steal by another person, to whom he passed on the money

Alison May, for the CPS, said he had been employed as a till operator and then on the customer services desk. Records and cctv were checked into transactions he had made with gift card refunds, showing at the times there had been no customers present with him. He completed 22 transactions involving the theft, refunds from gift cards and refunds from gift cards into cash.

When interviewed he said he had initially made a mistake in a transaction because he felt he had not been completely trained but then took advantage of that knowledge and continued to steal.

Mr Hazelton said the company was seeking £4,261.55 from him to cover losses, legal costs and investigation expense and this sum would be paid.

He came from a good home and was a student at Truro College hoping to go on to university.

Mr Hazelton said Turner had been put under pressure by somebody who knew a lot about him and told him to co-operate or he would notify various people, and as a result he deposited money with a view to it being collected by this person.

“These threats were hanging over him and he thought the only thing to do was to go along with them and he deposited money at a pre-arranged rendezvous. He realized what he was doing was wrong and came clean with the management and co-operated with the investigation.”

Mr Hazelton said since he stopped succumbing to the threats there had not been any further repercussions.

Turner was told to do 100 hours of unpaid work and pay £145 costs and surcharge.