A gambling addict who embezzled £5,500 from his boss over a six-week period has been banned from every betting shop in Scotland.
William Foster previously admitted taking the cash from Spanish tapas bar La Tortilla in Inverness between September 1 and October 10, and returned to court yesterday for sentencing.
The 42-year-old – who has a previous conviction for a similar offence dating back to 2008 – took a number of bank deposits from the restaurant.
Foster, of Kingsknowe Drive, Galashiels, was spared jail after Sheriff Margaret Neilson heard he was taking steps to tackle his gambling problem.
Defence agent David Patterson said: “He has been gambling for the past 14 years, is an addict and ran up debts. He has lost control and didn’t appreciate he had a problem.
“But he is now taking steps like going to weekly courses with Gamblers Anonymous and has self excluded himself from local bookmakers.
“He has also excluded himself from situations where he is handling cash and does not have a mobile phone with internet access.
“And he intends to repay the company within a 12-18 month period. He recognises this was a gross breach of trust.”
Sheriff Neilson ordered Foster to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work, and banned him from entering any Scottish bookies.
She also instructed him to repay the restaurant within 12 months.
And she told Foster: “I should warn you that if you find yourself back in court on a similar charge, you are unlikely to avoid a jail sentence.”