A Dereham supermarket worker has been ordered to pay back more than £800 after he admitted stealing money from the till.

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James Sayer, of Gordon Road, pocketed 75 cash refunds while working at the Co-op store in the town’s Market Place, King’s Lynn Magistrates’ Court heard today (Thursday).

The 23-year-old admitted stealing £825.07 from the Co-operative Group between January 1 and August 1 this year and stealing an unknown quantity of cash during the same period.

Prosecutor Susanna Chowdhury said Sayer had been employed by the store as a customer team member last September.

Co-op managers began an investigation in August when it became apparent that the store’s refund policy was not being followed and Sayer was found to have given more customer refunds than any other staff member.

The court heard that refunds of over £5 needed to be authorised on the till with a supervisor’s pin number, but Sayer had memorised the code and approved his own refunds.

When questioned, he admitted he had been stealing cash and the Co-op provided police with 75 refund receipts, Miss Chowdhury told the bench.

Sayer admitted giving 50 of the refunds, but was unsure whether he was responsible for the remaining 25, she said.

He told police he had taken the money after he began struggling to repay various loans and credit cards he took out over Christmas last year, the court heard.

Representing himself in court, Sayer said he had managed to find a new job and was paying off his debts.

“I’m in a lot better position than I was previously,” he said. “I’ve been very lucky.”

Sayer was ordered to pay the Co-operative Group £825.07 in compensation and £85 in court costs.

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