Aldi worker stole £12k from supermarket and blew it on cocaine and sex workers

An Aldi supermarket worker stole over £12,000 from his employer by stuffing it down his pants when facing the opposite way to CCTV cameras and then blew it on cocaine and prostitutes.

Steven Pyle, who worked in a trusted role at Aldi in Westerhope, Newcastle, said he planned to kill himself and wanted to "go out with a bang".

Instead of depositing takings in a safe at the store on Stamfordham Road, he sneaked them into his trousers, reports ChroniceLive.

Newcastle Crown Court heard he had developed a secret £150 a day cocaine habit and was sometimes drinking 16 pints a day.

Now the 34-year-old, of Benwell Village Mews, Benwell, Newcastle, has been given a suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to theft.

Sentencing him, Recorder Matthew Happold said: "During a three week period you, instead of putting cash bags in the safe, put them down your trousers.

"When the discrepancy in the money bags was discovered, examination of CCTV revealed what had happened.

"The pre-sentence report and mental health report say that at the time you decided to take your own life but you wanted to go out with a bang.

"The pre-sentence report says you took each bag with the intention of replacing it with your gaming winnings.

"You blew it on drugs and prostitutes.

"It was a breach of trust. You were trusted to put the money in the safe."

The court heard the thefts took place between April and May this year and amounted to £12,690.

Part of Pyle's role was to deposit takings from the tills into a safe but when G4S came to collect them, it was revealed that three of the cash bags were missing.

An initial check of CCTV suggested there was nothing untoward but suspicion fell on Pyle when he suddenly resigned unexpectedly and refused to work his notice period.

The court heard that three weeks previously he had expressed displeasure about his earnings decreasing but gave no hint he planned to quit.

Jenny Haigh, prosecuting, said: "On closely checking the CCTV again, the defendant was seen to, instead of dropping the bags in the bottom safe as he should, he concealed them in the front of his trousers when his back was turned away from the CCTV."

Pyle was sentenced to 24 weeks suspended for 12 months with 80 hours unpaid work.

Tony Cornberg, defending, said: "This case perhaps serves as a reminder that you never really know what's going on behind the scenes with a person when they finish their shift and go home.

"There was a planned suicide. He was drinking 16 pints of lager a day and taking £150 a day of cocaine secretly.

"He has true remorse about the effect on others."

The court heard he suffers from anxiety, depression, paranoia and low mood and did make an attempt on his life but was not hospitalised as a result. He is making efforts to tackle his drug and alcohol issues.

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