Godfrey Igunbor (21) was under pressure to pay his college fees when he pocketed the money while working at the shop hatch at a west Dublin filling station.
Judge David McHugh adjourned the case at Blanchardstown District Court for a restorative justice report.
Igunbor, of Rosse Court Heights, Lucan, pleaded guilty to theft at Circle K, Newlands Cross on May 9, 2020.
The court heard staff discovered a discrepancy where stock levels of certain items including tobacco were low.
An internal investigation was carried out in the shop and the manager viewed CCTV from the till area. Igunbor was on the night shift as a shop assistant when he operated a second till system that was separate to the shop tills.
When a customer approached the night hatch, he processed the transaction using cash from his own supply to give the appropriate change.
This was done in full view of the store CCTV, the court heard.
The shop was at a €4,000 loss.
Igunbor was under significant financial pressure to pay his €3,000 college fees when he unfortunately chose to take money that was not his, his lawyer said.
He had paid back the money as soon as he could and was now funding his degree studies legitimately. He was now working in a bingo hall where he was trusted to handle cash.
Igunbor was embarrassed by the shame he had brought on his family, his lawyer said.
He was an “enterprising young man” and was due to begin his third year of studies.
The lawyer asked the judge to take account of the fact that the theft was not for Igunbor’s own enjoyment, but to fund his college education.
Judge McHugh ordered a restorative justice report and adjourned the case to October.