A customer services manager stole thousands of pounds from cashpoint machines at a Grantham bank where he worked, Lincoln Crown Court was told.
Jason Thurlby carried out the thefts while refilling the machines at the Halifax bank, despite being accompanied by at least one colleague and being monitored by CCTV.
Phil Howes, prosecuting, said Thurlby was caught out in June last year after a colleague spotted him concealing some notes while filling one of the machines.
Mr Howes said: “She felt sick by what she witnessed. She felt betrayed and compromised by what she had seen.”
The woman discussed the issue with a colleague before reporting the matter to management.
Thurlby was spoken to the following day but tried to brazen it out.
Subsequent checks revealed a number of shortfalls on the cash machines at times when he was involved in refilling them.
Thurlby was suspended by the bank and initially tried to claim a device must have been placed over the machine allowing money to be taken out.
Later he changed his story and after first admitting to taking £200 in “a moment of madness” he went on to confess he had been stealing cash for a year.
Mr Howes said: “He said the losses were down to him. He said he was surprised it had not been picked up before. He said he was using the money to live off. He was taking approximately £1,000 a month.”
Thurlby, 25, of Manners Road, Balderton, admitted the theft of £12,000 in the 12 months up to the end of June 2013.
He was given a 12-month jail sentence suspended for 18 months with 100 hours of unpaid work. A further hearing will take place to decide on the confiscation of his assets.
Stephen Kemp, defending, said: “He is genuinely ashamed of what he has done. His motivation for doing this was financial pressures.”
He said Thurlby was already in debt before becoming a father and was struggling to pay the mortgage on his home.
Mr Kemp added: “Having heard about the ATMs not balancing he took the opportunity, foolishly, to take advantage of that situation. It was inevitable that sooner or later it would be discovered.
“He has now lost his employment with the bank. He is someone who had been showing some promise and that has been thrown away.”
Mr Kemp said that Thurlby, who had no previous convictions, is now working as a labourer.