A MAN stole almost £8,500 from his employer to pay back his drug debts, a court heard.

Weymouth magistrates were told Carl Price, 40, was an assistant manager at plumbing supplies company City Plumbing on the Granby Industrial Estate for several years.

The court heard that Price had a £9,000 drug debt which he was being pressured to pay, and that he breached a position of trust in his position as assistant manager by stealing the money.

His solicitor told the court the defendant, who had quit taking drugs before stealing the money, had made a full confession when he was caught and had "done all he could do after doing the wrong thing".

He admitted two counts of theft by an employee when he appeared at court on Wednesday, February 7.

Price, of The Rise, Southill, stole £2,931.27 from City Plumbing on October 6, 2022, then stole a further £5,565.10 on October 28 - a total of £8,496.37.

Victoria Hill, prosecuting, said he acquired the money by refunding legitimate purchases by a customer into his own bank account.

His crimes were discovered on his last day of work in 2022 before he left for a new job.

The prosecutor said Price was confronted about some paperwork he had detailing the refunds, and was described as becoming 'very nervous'. In interviews with police, Price admitted to the thefts.

Simon Lacey, mitigating, said that Price - who lives with his mother - made a 'very full confession'.

He said his client had done "all he could do after doing the wrong thing" and "had the decency to own up at the start".

Mr Lacey said Price had quit taking cocaine in April 2022 but had been threatened by a dealer to repay money he owed for the drug.

He also argued that Price - who has no previous relevant convictions - did not betray a position of significant trust as all staff had access to the refund system.

Mr Lacey said Price has been able to save up a sum of money from his current job to start repaying back what he stole, and believes he will be able to pay the full amount back over three years.

The magistrates, chaired by Sarah Saunders, adjourned sentencing until March 28 and called for a pre-sentence report.