TWO “grossly stupid” shop workers headed to the casino with the day’s takings – and lost it in one swoop at the roulette table before calmly ringing their boss to confess.
It started as a joke between sales manager Kieron Trott, 19, and his 48-year-old colleague Christopher Cameron, a shopfloor worker, at Poundstretcher in Pallion Retail Park, Sunderland magistrates heard.
The pair were cashing up the day’s takings at the end of their shift on October 13, last year, when they started discussing what it would be like to gamble the £3,380 on red at the roulette wheel.
But when their bet went badly wrong after a casino visit, the pair went back to the store and calmly rang their boss to admit what they had done.
Trott, of Hogarth Drive, Columbia, Washington, and Cameron, of South Durham Court, Hendon, both admitted theft by an employee when they appeared at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court.
Prosecutor Lee Poppett branded the offence “somewhat unusual” and said the pair’s boss had left them at the store at the end of her shift that day.
“At 9pm she received a call from Mr Trott stating that she needed to come back to the store because they had gambled away the takings,” Mr Poppett said.
“She believed it was a form of joke, but Mr Trott said ‘I’m not joking, call the police’. She could hear Mr Cameron in the background saying ‘he is being honest, you have to come back to the store’. That is, in a nutshell, the case.”
Both Trott and Cameron resigned immediately, the court heard, and are in the process of repaying the money to their former employer.
Jason Smith, defending Trott, said: “It was an act of gross stupidity. They were saying ‘let’s go and do this, we might make some money out of it’. How that would work is beyond me.
“They’ve then come back to the store and he’s rang his manager straight away and told them what they had done.
“He is paying the money back at a rate of £50 a week because, miraculously, he’s managed to find work at Nissan.”
Ian Cassidy, defending Cameron, said, the situation was “almost like something out of a comedy” and that his client has never even been to a casino before.
“Mr Cameron was working his regular shift. It was just the two of them and part of the routine is to check the cash that has been taken that day.
“They are joking saying ‘what would it be like if we took this money and gambled it’. Unbelievably, they persuaded themselves to do this.
“He can’t quite believe it. He described being in the casino a matter of minutes.
“They were seen transferring the cash into chips then go to the table saying ‘red?’ and ‘yes’. Lo and behold it came up on black.”
Both defendants were given 12-month community orders and were told to pay £110 each in costs and surcharges.
Trott was told to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work, while Cameron will have to do 66 hours.