A GARAGE worker has swerved a jail sentence despite stealing £3000 from his employers.
Kevin Devaney siphoned off cash while he was working for fast-fit tyre and exhaust firm Kwik-Fit.
The 19-year-old’s money-making scheme involved pretending to issue customer refunds when he was in fact diverting the cash to top up his own credit card.
He got away with the scam for six months before he was caught, Livingston Sheriff Court was told.
During that time he gambled away all but £900 of the £3098.26 he had stolen.
He even used some of the embezzled money to buy a season ticket so he could go and watch football.
Despite what a sheriff described as “a gross breach of trust”, Devaney, from Broxburn, avoided prison when he appeared for sentence yesterday.
Sheriff Martin Edington told him: “This was a substantial sum of money taken over a lengthy period of time and at the first stage this came before me there had been very little repayment.
“You were happy to fund yourself and while it may not have been a luxury lifestyle, buying season tickets for a football club is not something that can be regarded as immaterial.”
The sheriff said that Devaney had been of good behaviour for a lengthy period and had saved up enough money to repay his former employers in full.
He sentenced the accused to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work under a community payback order and told him to pay £2151.87 compensation within seven days.
Devaney earlier pleaded guilty to embezzling the cash from Kwik-Fit depots in Pumpherston and the Aberdeen suburb of Dyce between February and October 2014.
Neil Stewart, defending, claimed the teenager had got into major debt after developing a serious online gambling habit.
He said Devaney initially took out payday loans to fund his addiction but eventually turned to stealing from his employers.
Mr Stewart told the court: “He used to shut himself away in his bedroom and gamble online. He’s now away from the gambling environment with his friends in the north.”
Advertising commercials featuring the slogan “You cant get better than a Kwik-Fit fitter” were first shown on television in 1984.
Five different commercials were made in this series with the last being shown on TV in 1989.