A RAMSEY man used his position as a cashier on an airbase to steal more than $8,000 of gift cards from US Air Force stores. Malcolm Bennett, 19, worked with accomplices to defraud the Exchange Services stores at RAF Alconbury and Lakenheath. Betwe

A RAMSEY man used his position as a cashier on an airbase to steal more than $8,000 of gift cards from US Air Force stores.

Malcolm Bennett, 19, worked with accomplices to defraud the Exchange Services stores at RAF Alconbury and Lakenheath.

Between December 9, 2008, and April 24, 2009, Bennett stole $8,793, Huntingdon Crown Court heard on Wednesday.

Bennett, of Hollow Lane, who pleaded guilty to theft, was aided by two men.

They would buy goods from the store where Bennett worked at Alconbury.

When the goods had been paid for, Bennett would call a supervisor to void the transaction and issue a refund.

The goods would then be taken to the store RAF Lakenheath, where they would be refunded again and credit would be given in the form of a gift card.

Conor Dufficy, prosecuting, told the court this process happened on 10 different occasions, and that each of the three men made between $2,500 and $3,000 from the fraud.

One of Bennett's accomplices has been returned to the US, while the other is being dealt with in the US military system.

John Kirkpatrick, defending, told the court that Bennett regretted his actions.

"He takes this very seriously, and is very ashamed of what he has done. He has lost his good name and possibly mucked up his future. He has blotted his copybook in a bad way: he has brought shame on himself and on his parents."

Bennett was given a 12-week suspended sentence in a young offenders' institution, suspended for 12 months, ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work and contribute £100 to prosecution costs.

Judge Martin Oldham told Bennett: "It is very sad to see a young and talented man like you in the crown court.

"You breached your employers' trust over a period of time for gratuitous reasons to improve the quality of your life. You have been given a chance: do not let me down.