Brian Raymond Ballantine, 63, who worked at unearthly hours thought the minimum wages that he was being paid was not sufficient for the efforts he put in, the York magistrates heard.
He started taking notes from the till at the W H Smith’s branch at York Railway Station on eight occasions between September 15 and October 10, 2011, but he was not aware that the management secretly filmed him in the act the prosecutor Sandra White told the court.
The employers had set up the surveillance camera after a new manager reported unexplained stock losses and having seen Ballantine putting coins on top of the till drawer which was against the company regulations.
Ballantine, of Postern Close, Clementhorpe, who had previously helped train police cadets, pleaded guilty to eight charges of theft, totalling £140 and was ordered to do 100 hours unpaid work and pay £140 compensation and £85 prosecution costs.
His solicitor for Ballantine said that he was not involved in the stock losses and placed the coins on top of the drawer for speedy service at busy times.
He was a desperate man who was expected to work all hours for a minimum wages having previously been self-employed, the solicitor said.
He took the stupid decision last year to compensate for the work he was putting in and because of the financial difficulties he was in.
Ballantine had an excellent work record and had run pubs and clubs in Lancashire for some years. He then moved to a London pub, but received a beating when he reported drug dealers to police for dealing in his pub. He had then moved to York.
At times, he had to start work at 4.30am and felt he was working over and above what W H Smith asked of him because of staff shortages, the court heard.