A cleaner stole from Calder Vets while sanitising the card machine, a court heard.
Richard Derek Scholes, 40, was cleaning the card payment machine at Calder Vets on Standbridge Lane when he claimed it started spooling out paper.
Scholes told police afterwards he put his own card in to stop it.
But Scholes, of Cawthorne Road, Kettlethorpe, admitted theft when he appeared before city magistrates on Tuesday.
Prosecutor Karen Medley told how the August 8 theft came to light during a check, which threw up a refund for £789, which nobody at the branch knew anything about.
The court heard the money was stopped from leaving the account and there was no loss in the end.
Mrs Medley said further enquiries revealed the receptionist had left for the day but Scholes, the cleaner, had logged in but not logged out.
Scholes later told police he was cleaning the card machine when it started rolling out paper. He claimed he placed his card into the machine and ran his fingers over it, which made it stop. But the court heard no card was used and it was manually typed in. Magistrates heard Scholes had previous convictions for dishonesty but these were of some age.
Martyn Lord, mitigating, said it wasn’t premeditated as Scholes accidentally activated the machine.
But he entered his own card details to see if money would go into his account. It was traceable and “ doomed to failure”.
Scholes was sentenced to a community order with 150-hour unpaid work requirement. He must also pay £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.