A MAN has been ordered to pay back �21,000 he stole from the gym that employed him.

Vimal Unewal, 34, from Abbotsbury, Great Hollands, took the money from Pulse 8 health and fitness club in Sindlesham over four months in early 2011 when he was employed there as a part-time barman.

On Friday, he appeared at Reading Crown Court and was ordered to pay back the sum in a confiscation order made under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Financial investigator Jennifer Bailey, from the Thames Valley Police Economic Crime Unit, said: "The Proceeds of Crime Act is a vital tool used to ensure that a criminal's assets can be preserved and taken back to make restitution to the victims of crime. It proves that crime does not pay."

Shortly after Unewal's arrest in June 2011, police secured a Proceeds of Crime Act Restraint Order over monies held in Unewal's bank accounts to preserve them for the later confiscation proceedings.

Unewal pleaded guilty to stealing the cash at the Reading Crown Court in December and was sentenced to nine months' imprisonment, suspended for two years.

At his latest hearing, he was given 48 days to repay the money to Pulse 8 in Mole Lane.