An Irvine bank worker who claimed he carried out a £75k fraud after being forced by shadowy “dark web” criminals has been spared jail “by the skin of his teeth”.

Dayne Lynn said he fell prey to the unknown individuals who targeted him because of his job.

The 22-year-old had earlier become “curious” about the “dark web” having watched a TV show about it.

He joined an internet chat forum – and ended up revealing some personal details.

This included his role on the fraud team Lloyds bank at Glasgow’s Atlantic Quay, a job he has since been sacked from.

A sheriff heard he was eventually ordered to swindle from two accounts and transfer cash t o the mystery crime gang.

Lynn, originally from Saltcoats, pled guilty to, while acting with others, embezzling and attempting to embezzle a total of £74,600 from two individuals' accounts on July 18, 2016.

Sheriff Martin Jones QC said “There’s no satisfactory explanation as to why a you ng m an of his intelligence simply didn’t press the button and switch off.”

He told Lynn’s lawyer Ross Yuill: “There’s only one thing stopping him going to prison and that is that nobody lost any money.”

The sheriff handed Lynn a community payback order for 18 months with the conditions he is supervised, will carry out 240 hours unpaid work and will be in his bail address between 8pm and 7am for six months.

He told Lynn: “You have made it by the skin of your teeth.”

The court heard he was employed in the fraud operation department of the bank to deal with accounts that have been flagged for security reasons.

On July 18, 2016 began work at 8am but between 7.45am and 9.30am had accessed 19 customer accounts with no legitimate business reason.

Procurator fiscal depute Richard Hill said: “The account details of Mr Evans and Mr Bryce were accessed during that time.

At 11.33am the accused transferred £25,000 from Mr Evans’ account to another man with the reference ‘LMX Diggers’.

“At 11.45am he attempted to transfer £25,000 from Mr Evan’s account to another account with the reference ‘Cobra Boats’.

“The transfer was blocked by the banking system due to the total being above the permitted daily transfer allowance.”

Later that day he transferred £24,600 from Mr Bryce’s account to another account with the reference ‘Prestige Boats’ but this was frozen because of suspec ted fraudulent activity.

Mr Hill added: “None of the transfers were authorised by the customers and were processed by Lynn ac cess ing and falsely authorising the funds using his clearance as a bank employee to overcome the bank security measures.”

He said that all money was reversed by the bank so neither men or the bank suffered any financial loss.

An internal investigation was carried out and Lynn was subject of a disciplinary hearing where he admitted his bank login was used, but denied being responsible.

Mr Yuill told the court Lynn became involved after going on the “dark web” after watching a Netflix documentary.

He said that after speaking to people on a forum he, “gave away too much information” and was threatened into becoming involved in the scam.

Asked by the sheriff why he went on to the website in the first place, Mr Yuill said: “It was curiosity, he didn’t think it could be true that this type of site was in existence.”

Mr Yuill said Lynn’s involvement was as an employee of the fraud team.

He said Lynn claimed he was “fairly certain” the next level of security after him would prevent the payment actually being made but “he would not face any repercussions because he had carried out his part”.