A betting shop worker was on a sure winner – he simply helped himself to gaming machine winnings.

Mark Stanley Andrews, 41, stole more than £5,800 from his employers.

A court heard on Monday how much of it was spent on household bills and food shopping.

But there had also been a £3,000 family holiday.

Andrews, of Park Side in Saltney, admitted stealing £5,816 from Corbett’s at Saltney – and was ordered to pay all the money back.

He was given a 20 week prison sentence, suspended for two years, at Flintshire Magistrates’ Court at Mold, and was ordered to pay £85 costs. Magistrates told him that it had been ‘a breach of trust’ against his employers.

Prosecutor James Neary said the defendant started working for the company in February of this year.

The company had a number of fixed-odds betting and gaming machines which made substantial payments.

Winners were given a voucher and it was his responsibility as a member of staff to scan the voucher into the system and pay the winnings out.

In May and June the defendant entered 24 gaming machine vouchers into the system and took the cash out of the till, said Mr Neary.

Checks were made by head office.

CCTV and other validatory systems showed that no one had been using the machines at the time of the alleged winnings and no-one had been paid out.

Arrested and interviewed, the defendant admitted that he had taken the money and put it in his pocket or hid it in his sock.

He told how he was struggling financially because his wages were being paid in arrears.

Andrews said he took small amounts to begin with to pay for household bills and food.

But the prosecutor said the defendant accepted that there had also been a £3,000 family holiday.

Defending solicitor Chris Jesse told the court that his client had no previous convictions.

He had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

The defendant began working for the company in February, was paid in arrears and had asked for an advance on his salary, which was refused.

He had started taking small amounts to begin with which had not been picked up by the company.

But then it ‘spiralled out of control’

He was very sorry for what he had done.