A man working as a cashier for Aldi supermarkets in the Wrexham area stole more than £4,500 from his employers.

A court heard on Tuesday how Ben Hickley, 22, had over-stretched himself financially.

At North East Wales Magistrates’ Court at Mold, Hickley, of Bro Awelon in Penycae, Wrexham, admitted stealing £4,506 from Aldi Ltd at Plas Coch Retail Park in Wrexham, Ruthin Road in Wrexham and Shrewsbury Road in Oswestry, in August.

District Judge Gwyn Jones ordered him to pay back the money in full.

He was placed on a 12 month community order under which he must carry out 200 hours unpaid work and he was ordered to pay £85 costs and an £85 surcharge.

The judge said that due to the business models of some of the smaller retailers, young and general members of staff were obliged to do tasks which would not be expected of them by larger retailers.

It was accepted that he was a cashier and not a manager but it was still a breach of trust case, he said.

Sarah Marsh, prosecuting, said the defendant worked in three Aldi stores in the area.

She said he was ultimately caught on CCTV.

“He was seen removing various amounts of money from cash drawers and concealing them in his hands,” she explained.

Interviewed, he made full admissions.

The court heard that he was a young man of no previous convictions.

Probation officer Jenny Cantwell said the defendant blamed his bad financial position at the time for the theft.

He had a loan for a car and he was living with his sister and her partner and helping to pay bills because she was not getting benefits at the time.

The defendant found himself overdrawn and paying charges and got into something of a vicious circle.

He was tempted to take money initially to get himself back on track but then he carried on what he found that he could get away with it.

His financial situation had now eased, his sister was getting benefits, and he was now working for a car valeting company.

He did not handle money, he no longer had any debts, and his new employers were aware of the position.

Defending solicitor Melissa Griffiths said her client was a cashier, not a manager or supervisor but it was accepted it was a breach of trust case.

He was a man who had lost his good name but who had a good work ethic and who now had a job where he did not handle cash.

She said: “He was suffering financially at the time. He had over-stretched himself with an expensive car loan and he was contributing to household bills.”

The defendant was, she said, surprised at the amount in the charge but could not argue which what was alleged. He was fit and well and able to carry out a community order, she added.