A former manager of two Highland filling stations dramatically changed his plea to guilty of embezzlement and fraud at the start of the second day of his trial.
Paul Martin, 55, of Swordale Crescent in Bonar Bridge, had denied embezzling £40,348 worth of cigarette stocks between September 22, 2004 and May 31, 2012.
He also pleaded not guilty at Inverness Sheriff Court to embezzling £37,550 worth of coffee machine takings between 2006 and 2012 and a further £5,916 of vending machine takings.
Martin was also charged with obtaining a Nectar loyalty card by pretending to be the owner of Skiach Services in Evanton and obtaining £8,748 worth of goods and services.
But before the second day of evidence was due to begin, Martin confirmed he was admitting embezzling an unspecified quantity of cigarettes and fraudulently obtaining the loyalty card.
Sentence was deferred until December 2 for a background report on the first offender.
During the first day of his trial, a jury heard from former staff members of the stations, owned by Elgin-based Gleaner Oils Ltd, and their 62-year-old area manager, Ian Fraser.
They spoke about a day in March, 2012 when over £20,000 worth of cigarettes were delivered shortly before the government budget of that year.
Ex forecourt attendant Janie Campbell, 50, told the court that she saw Martin and other staff loading up his car with him claiming they were to be delivered to the sister station Ashgrove near Huntly.
Staff there told the court they never arrived.