THE manager of a Glasgow petrol station was found to have embezzled more than £13,000 to pay off gambling debts.

Andrea Ward, 44, was employed at Shell on London Road when it was discovered the cash that she had taken between March and November 2019 had gone missing.

An investigator was instructed to find out where the funds from the East End store had gone.

At Glasgow Sheriff Court, prosecutor Hazel Kerr said: “The cash was found to be missing whilst the accused was on shift.

“She was manipulating the online system to show certain money was taken on the day and the remainder was taken for herself.

“She resigned a few days after the discovery.”

On November 11, 2019, Ward’s area manager informed police about the situation.

Ms Kerr added: “The accused had been employed at the store for approximately a year prior. She was interviewed by police to which she made admissions.

“She stated ‘you have it all there, I did it, it’s in black and white and maybe I told myself I didn’t do it’. She was arrested and charged and made no reply.”

Ward appeared in court for sentencing after previously pleading guilty to embezzling a total of £13,387.

Her lawyer told the court: “There is some unresolved trauma lingering in the background.

“Gambling took over her life at the time. The sums of money were being devoted to her debt being written off rather than any lavish lifestyle.

“She was previously hospitalised and received psychological treatment which is ongoing. She is in a long-term relationship and her husband is with her in court today. She has two adult children, and nobody is condoning her behaviour.

“She is genuinely remorseful. The social work report sets out how this can be dealt with other than custody. She’s willing to comply with any disposal which is available. She appears before the court as a first offender and hasn’t been in trouble since.”

Sheriff Charles Lugton told Ward, of Motherwell: “I need to take into account that the dishonesty took place over a period of time and it’s a substantial amount of money.

“I have weighed this against the fact you have no criminal record and haven’t been in trouble since. I can deal with this in a non-custodial way.”

Ward was ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work and be under social work supervision for 12 months.