Aaron Bland’s theft was discovered on January 18, when CCTV showed him “clearly concealing some items” as he left the Central Avenue bookies, said Neil Hollett, prosecuting.
“The sum of £5,603 was taken and it was used on drugs. The money was gone within two weeks,” he added.
Bland made a “full and frank admission” to police and said the key had been left in the safe.
Bland, aged 29, of Charles Avenue, Nottingham, admitted theft when he appeared at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court.
Rebecca Williams, mitigating, said the theft was committed on “the spur of the moment”.
He is looking for work and is the primary carer for his mother, who is very ill, she said.
Greta Percival, of the probation service, said Bland was originally a recreational drug user.
“About six months ago he decided to sort himself out and he went ‘cold turkey’, and he hasn’t had any since,” she said.
“He describes it as a way of life he doesn’t wish to return to.”
District judge Andrew Meachin gave him an 18-month community order, with 200 hours of unpaid work and 20 hours of a rehabilitation activity.
He was ordered to repay the £5,603, starting at a rate of £10 per week.