A former heroin addict who stole £7,000 from his boss has been spared jail.
Keith Nimmo, 47, pleaded guilty to one count of theft after taking the money from the safe at Baileys pub in Accrington on October 30 last year.
The court heard Nimmo, of Stanley Street, Accrington, had 40 previous convictions for 98 offences.
At the time of the offence he had been working as a doorman at the bar for three-and-a half years. He had gone out with staff, including his boss Bulraj Bhallar.
Nimmo claimed he had left his jacket behind and Mr Bhallar gave Nimmo his keys. He returned to Baileys and stole the cash. Nimmo was caught by the bar’s CCTV.
He was arrested the same day with only £471.07 on him and admitted the offence.
In a victim statement read out to the court Mr Bhallar said: “I’m absolutely gutted that Keith has stolen from me. He has breached my trust and put the future of my business at risk.”
Paul Treble, defending, said Nimmo had claimed he had confronted drug dealers on his street and had thrown their drugs away. He claimed he was then threatened by a higher ranking dealer to pay £10,000 or he would be murdered and had stolen the money to pay him.
Mr Treble said Nimmo had not offended since 2006 and was involved in a peer mentoring programme for other addicts.
Judge Beverly Lunt said if Nimmo’s explanation was true he could have approached the police or Mr Bhallar. She added: “This isn’t just theft from an employer, it’s theft from a friend.”
He was sentenced to 34 weeks in prison suspended for two years and given a 12-month supervision order with a requirement to attend a thinking skills course. He was ordered to pay back £471.