A MAN who scammed his employer out of tens of thousands of pounds to pay for booze and gambling debts has been spared jail.

Employee Stephen Wyllie fraudulently stole £51,873.86 from the now defunct Storage Solutions.

He was sentenced for one count of fraud by abuse of position at Oxford Crown Court yesterday.

Outlining the case prosecutors said that the 42-year-old of Great Close Road, Yarnton, had worked for the firm for a number of years when he began taking money from the business.

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It was said that Wyllie stole money from the company 'on a daily basis' for a number of years using Paypal.

When the scam was uncovered he said that he had taken the money because he was in debt due to an addiction to alcohol and gambling.

The company has since gone into administration and the manager said he blamed some of the failings of the business on the fraud.

In mitigation the court heard that Wyllie - who had worked at the firm for some 18 years - expressed 'remorse and sorrow' for what he had done.

Wyllie was jailed for 20 months, suspended for 24 months and must carry out 250 hours of unpaid work and 36 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

He must also pay a victim surcharge and £360 costs.