A betting shop cashier who blew £6,000 savings on his gambling addiction has pleaded guilty to stealing more than £4,000 from his employers.

George Jabbie of Linden Grove, Peckham, admitted stealing £4,620 cash from the Coral bookmaker on Brigstock Road, Thornton Heath, where he was training to become an assistant manager.

Croydon Magistrates Court heard the 23-year-old was seen acting suspiciously on September 1, last year and failed to return from his lunch break that day.

Brinkman May prosecuting said: "When management checked the store CCTV on September 2, it showed Mr Jabbie go the safe take notes out and put it into a zipper bag."

The court heard he also took cash from two machines in the store.

Mr Jabbie was arrested after presenting himself to police at East Croydon station on January 11, this year after police said he was wanted in connection with the theft.

Mr May added: "In the police interview he made a full and frank admission. He said he began gambling and had spent all his savings so began to steal from work.

"The temptation was too great for him at work. He was shown CCTV which showed him committing the offence and he accepts that is him. He didn't know how much money he had taken but it was a large amount from the safe and two game machines."

Magistrates were told Mr Jabbie lost all the money after visiting casinos in Piccadilly and playing on roulette machines. The court heard Mr Jabbie accepted his gambling addiction was out of control.

The case was adjourned for sentencing pending pre-sentence reports.

Mr Jabbie was told because of the sum involved and because the case involved a breach of trust, sentencing options ranged from a community order up to him being sentenced at the Crown Court.

The Magistrate said: "At this stage we are not ruling out custody."

Mr Jabbie will return to court for sentencing later this month.