A gambling addict salesman at a Nelson firm pocketed more than £7,000 of his bosses' cash to pay off debts, a court heard.
Jamie Gavin (28) stole the money when he was working at manufacturers REM Ltd, at Glenfield Mill.
He walked straight into his local police station, owned up and expressed remorse and regret after his employers asked him about the missing cash.
Burnley magistrates were told by a probation officer that Gavin had had a long- standing gambling problem over many years, which had involved very large amounts of money.
He claimed he had intended to repay the company through anticipated winnings.
Miss Parveen Akhtar, prosecuting, said the defendant went to Waterfoot Police Station. She went on: "He told the officer ' I have got a gambling problem,' and he had stolen the money from the company to pay his debts."
At a disciplinary meeting, he agreed to forfeit his last wage packet from the company to pay back some of the money.
The prosecutor said the outstanding amount was £6,069.79. She added: "Since then, he has been dismissed from the company.
"Again, he has expressed remorse by his early guilty pleas. The aggravating feature is the breach of trust."
The defendant, who changed his name from Gino Mancini, was given a suspended jail term for theft in May 2011, after he took his partner's parents' credit card. He is now said to have got another job, similar to the position he held at REM, earning £1,800 a month.
Mr John Rusius, defending Gavin, a dad-of-one, said: " He accepts he had some gambling problems for some time and he sought to address this in numerous ways.
"He attended Gamblers' Anonymous, tried hypnotherapy, counselling, other therapies, indeed everything that was going. He felt everything was under control and he had rid himself of his difficulties."
The solicitor continue:"He is very sorry for what he's done and first and foremost he wants to repay the money to the company.
"He continues to get help."
Mr Rusius told the hearing when Gavin went to the police station , it was a great weight off his shoulders. The solicitor said:"It was almost as if he was talking about somebody else. He couldn't believe what he had done.
The defendant, of Percy Mount, Waterfoot, admitted two counts of theft by employee, involving £540 and £7,007.86, last April.
He was given a 12-month community order, with a 15-day rehabilitation activity requirement and 100 hours unpaid work. Gavin must pay REM £6,069.79 compensation, at £500 a month.