A SHOP assistant abused his position of trust by embezzling £11,000 while doing shifts at a store in Johnstone town centre.

David McSorley repeatedly dipped the till at Ritchie’s Newsagents, where he was employed on a casual basis.

The Johnstone man had started working for Neil and David Murray at their small store in the town’s High Street when he was just 14.

Over the years, he was given more responsibility, with the owners allowing him to open and close the shop and handle the takings.

However, greedy McSorley repaid them by stealing bundles of cash, as well as scratchcards.

He was paid £6-per-hour on a cash-in-hand basis and became such a trusted employee that he was tasked with taking his own wages out of the money in the till at the end of his shift.

But, when McSorley was 18, he began stealing from his employers, taking over £100-per-shift in cash and scratchcards.

He was only rumbled when his employers carried out a random stock check after their eagle-eyed accountant noticed a discrepancy in their books.

McSorley, of Peockland Crescent, tried to dodge responsibility for his crime by begging the Murrays not to call the police.

But they did contact the authorities to inform them – and he could now be jailed for the offence.

The details emerged yesterday when McSorley appeared in the dock at Paisley Sheriff Court to be sentenced for the embezzlement, which took place between April 2015 and November last year.

He had previously pleaded guilty to embezzling the cash and an unspecified amount of scratchcards, with sentence deferred for background reports.

Procurator fiscal depute Pamela Brady said an accountant had raised concerns on November 13 last year but Neil Murray “was not unduly concerned at the time.”

Mr Murray later decided to carry out a stock check and noticed a discrepancy in how many tobacco products they had, compared to how many there should have been.

He then checked receipts from the night before – when McSorley had been working – and noticed he had voided a number of transactions and put through a number of refunds.

Mrs Brady, prosecuting, explained: “Neil Murray viewed CCTV. From the CCTV he could see the accused serving customers items and then placing the money he received on top of the till.

“This happened on a number of occasions during the course of his shift.”

At the end of the shift, McSorley was seen on CCTV footage to take all the money from the top of the till and place it in his pocket, before taking three £10 scratchcards without paying for them and leaving the shop.

Mr Murray then texted McSorley to tell him what he had discovered – prompting the crook to beg him not to go to the police.

Further checks of the CCTV footage revealed McSorley carried out 13 voids and three refunds in a two-hour period, pocketing £132 for himself.

Mrs Brady said the situation had been going on for more than two-and-a-half years, adding: “On each occasion it seemed to be well in excess of £100.

“The accused embezzled in excess of £10,000.”

She said that grovelling McSorley offered to pay £2,000 back by November 25 last year and then repay the rest of what he had swiped, again asking for the police not to be contacted.

But the Murrays never took any money and contacted the police, leading to an investigation.

Sheriff Frances McCartney deferred sentence on McSorley for three months for him to be of good behaviour and start paying the money back.

He could be caged for the offences when he returns to the dock in December to learn his fate.