Security guard stole from McDonald's to pay for gambling

Updated November 2 2012 - 1:34am, first published September 30 2009 - 3:36am
Security guard stole from McDonald's to pay for gambling

A SECURITY guard employed to collect money from McDonald's restaurants across Ballarat stole $5000 to fund a gambling addiction, a court has been told.Ballarat Magistrates Court was yesterday told that Gary Wilson, 24, had worked for a security company for eight months before he pocketed the cash on December 19.Police prosecutor Leading Senior Constable Steve Kent told the court Wilson went to McDonald's in Howitt St, Wendouree, to collect the day's takings.He said an assistant manager and a staff member were present when the cash bags were removed from the safe and placed on a bench."The assistant manager left the area and the defendant continued to count the bags. Midway through, he said he lost count," Leading Sen Const Kent said.The court was told 21 bags were placed inside a large bag, which Wilson did not seal.Leading Sen Const Kent said Wilson left McDonald's to go to the bank, when he took a cash bag containing $5000 from the unsealed bag."A week later, it was found a bag was missing out of the 21 bags and he said he had spent the cash," he said.Defence lawyer Michael Cunningham told the court his client had developed a gambling problem around the time of the theft."He had become more and more in debt," Mr Cunningham said.He said Wilson had lost his security guard's licence for five years and had no desire to return to the industry."Mr Wilson has acknowledged it as being very serious. The consequences of his actions have been made clear to him," Mr Cunningham said.Magistrate Peter Couzens told Wilson his offending was a breach of trust involving a large amount of money.Wilson, of Sebastopol, pleaded guilty to one count of theft. He was convicted and released on a 12-month community-based order with 150 hours of unpaid community work.He was ordered to pay $5000 compensation.