A former shop assistant manager who stole over €10,000 worth of scratch cards because he was jealous of his friends getting pay rises has been given an 18-month suspended sentence.

Rafal Winter (37), of Swallowbrook Crescent, Clonee, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to stealing lottery scratch cards at Spar, The Crescent, Mulhuddart, Dublin, on dates between July 2 and September 24, 2017.

The father-of-one has no previous convictions in Ireland or his native Poland.

Sentencing Winter on Monday, Judge Melanie Greally noted he had made great efforts to repay the €10,500 he stole from his former employers.

He has since got work as a security guard and has not come to garda attention, the court heard.

Judge Greally sentenced Winter to 18 months’ imprisonment but suspended it entirely on a number of conditions.

Garda Rachel Trappe previously told Diarmuid Collins BL, prosecuting, that a retail management company contacted the Spar general manager about a discrepancy in scratch cards.

The manager reinstated a practice, which had been axed by a previous boss, of counting the scratch cards every night and approached Winter while making her inquiries. He admitted responsibility in a private conversation.

He said he had been at a BBQ with friends who had been talking about money and pay rises and he became jealous. He admitted taking up to 30 books of scratch cards over several weeks.

He offered to resign and pay back the money lost to the shop. Winter presented himself voluntarily to gardaí and explained he took between two and four scratch card books a week and scratched them all himself.

Gda Trappe said Winter claimed he spent his winning on “life expenses”. He said he had asked for a pay rise but had not received one.

Gda Trappe agreed with Jennifer Jackson BL, defending, that her client had shown remorse, made full admissions and pleaded guilty at the earliest date.

Winter had no trappings of wealth and was not a man of significant means, the court heard.