A KFC manager who stole more than £2,000 from a work safe has been given 200 hours of unpaid work.

Kulwinder Singh Bajwa, of Symington Street, Northampton, who worked at the takeaway restaurant in Great North Road, Eaton Socon, for four years was caught after an area manager completed a spot check and discovered the money was missing.

The 27-year-old, one of the few people at the restaurant who had access to the safe, admitted stealing the money to the area manager.

Paul Brown, prosecuting, said: "Bajwa said that he wanted to pay the money back but it had not been possible. He took the money to pay for various debts he had, including a solicitor bill for his immigration case."

Lorraine Adams, defending, told the court: "Mr Bajwa was asked if he was responsible for the stolen money which he acknowledged and stopped the three other people with access to the safe from being asked.

"He explained that the money was used to pay bills, and to sort out a new visa as he wanted to do a PhD which cost £700 he didn't have. It was his intention to pay it back although he had no means of doing so."

Bajwa, who has already repaid £200, no longer works for KFC and was expecting to start work as a delivery driver on Monday (November 19). He admitted theft between October 3 and October 31 when he appeared at Huntingdon Law Courts on Thursday (November 15).

Magistrates gave Bajwa a 12-month community order, ordered to pay £1,860 compensation, £65 costs and £60 victim surcharge, at a rate of £20 a week.