A man who stole more than £28,000 from his employers to keep up with his friends’ lavish lifestyle has avoided an immediate jail term.
Joseph Dacus, 23, took the money from Cash Converters in Bury St Edmunds over the course of a year.
Dacus, who lived in Westward Deals, Kedington, was spending more on taxi fees to take him to and from work than he earned, Ipswich Crown Court heard yesterday.
He pleaded guilty to theft from an employer having failed to record the true price obtained for items sold and pocketing the difference, according to Robert Sadd, prosecuting.
The thefts took place from May 16, 2011 to July 27 this year, with Dacus making off with £28,090.
Mr Sadd said it was inevitable that he would be caught and he was arrested after being confronted by his employer.
Duncan O’Donnell, in mitigation, said Dacus had moved into a shared house for the first time and had been trying to keep up with the spending of others.
Money was lavished on designer clothes, jewellery and socialising with friends, said Mr O’Donnell.
“He simply could not afford that lifestyle.
“He is a young man who has stumbled into criminality of this nature without realising the seriousness of what he was doing,” he said.
Mr O’Donnell added that Dacus was anxious to pay back what he had stolen.
Recorder Christopher Morgan sentenced Dacus to 16 months in prison suspended for two years, with 200 hours of unpaid community work to be carried out.
He will also be under supervision from probation officers for one year.
Mr Recorder Morgan said £840 in cash and items of jewellery seized by police from Dacus would be paid to Cash Converters in compensation.