Cash totalling £4,600 was stolen by an employee of a Spalding cafe to spend on nights out and a holiday.
Anthony Martin-Dale, of Burnstone Gardens in Moulton, pleaded guilty to stealing from Ayscoughee Hall Cafe between March 1 and December 5, 2013.
Grantham magistrates heard how Martin-Dale took up a position as an apprentice at the cafe, where he dealt with customers and operated the cash tills.
In October, the owner went on holiday for a fortnight, leaving a supervisor in charge. On her return, she found that money had gone missing and all employees were given a chance to own up.
Nobody came forward and it was not until the following month that it became clear Martin-Dale was the culprit. The cafe supervisor noticed further money was missing and found that although £68 had been taken during the day, only £38 was in the till.
After checking the receipts, the supervisor saw that several refunds had been made, and further investigation of receipts over a period of time showed that a total of £4,600 had been marked as refunds.
Marie Stace, prosecuting, said: “She spoke to him about it and he didn’t deny it, and his employment was terminated.”
During police interview, Martin-Dale admitted the theft and said he had spent the stolen money on nights out with friends and a holiday.
Ms Stace said: “He said to officers that what he had done was stupid and he hadn’t thought through the consequences of his actions.”
Rob Arthur, defending, said: “He explained he has spent the money on socialising. It’s not the best excuse but clearly it’s an honest account given by him.”
Martin-Dale was ordered to pay £3,000 in compensation at £20 per week for two years. Court costs and a victim surcharge were waived to allow more compensation to be paid. He was also ordered to carry out 120 hours’ unpaid work.