A 27-YEAR-OLD man began stealing from his employer to pay for his forthcoming wedding.

Blackburn magistrates heard the losses were so significant that the owner of the Lockmill service station noticed the dip in takings.

Warris Hussain initially signed a statement to say he had stolen £3,500 but later went back on that and said he had only taken £2,000.

Hussain, 27, of Wimberley Street, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to stealing cash from Michael Eccles.

He was given 40 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £2,000 compensation. Parveen Akhtar, prosecuting, said once suspicions were aroused Mr Eccles viewed CCTV which showed Hussain serving customers and voiding transaction.

They were able to trace £3,500 worth of such transactions but Hussain pleaded guilty on the basis that he had stolen £2,000.

Helen Oats, defending, said he had worked for Mr Eccles for seven years and had been a valued member of staff.

“He was due to be married and had been planning the wedding for three years,” said Miss Oats.

“Unfortunately he placed the importance of the wedding over what was right and wrong.”