A SUPERVISOR at a city centre toy store stole £2,200-worth of computer games and consoles, saying he was being blackmailed.
Steven Rees, aged 38, was suspended from his job at Toys R Us in Parc Tawe after texting his boss to admit stealing from the shop.
He had been confronted after the store's assistant manager Phill Lloyd noticed items had gone missing from an area where only management or senior staff could go.
Mr Lloyd watched CCTV and saw Rees enter the area and believed he may have been responsible.
He then called the store's manager who came in to speak to Rees, but did not tell him he had been caught on CCTV.
Rees denied any knowledge of the theft, but that night sent a text message to his manager admitting it was him who had taken them.
He said he was being blackmailed to steal them.
Prosecutor Linda Baker told city magistrates the offence was a "breach of trust", but she said Rees had repaid £1,000 to the store.
Craig Harding, for Rees, said his client knew he could face a custodial sentence, but asked them to consider alternative sentences.
He said his client had worked for Toys R Us for 10 years and had an "unblemished" work record.
He said Rees, a dad-of-two from Lotwen Road in Capel Hendre, had been put under pressure to steal the items.
Mr Harding said the nature of the threats was not sufficient enough to raise a defence to the charge and his client pleaded guilty.
Mr Harding said it was not an excuse, but explained the "unwanted contact" was what had caused Rees to commit the offence.
"He had been pushed to the edge," said Mr Harding.
"Since this incident there's been a significant effect on him and his family," he said, telling magistrates that Rees is receiving medical help after a breakdown.
"He's sorry for the hurt caused to his family and he feels he has devastated their lives. He is sorry to Toys R Us, they placed their trust in him and for 10 years he repaid that trust but on two days in April he let them down very badly. He is very sorry."
Magistrates told Rees he had stolen high-value goods and that he had breached his position of trust with company.
He was given a 12-week prison sentence, but magistrates agreed to suspend it for 24 months. He was also told to complete 240 hours of unpaid work.