Dec 9 2015

Bank manager jailed for stealing £250k

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Bank manager jailed for stealing £250k

A bank manager who stole more than £250,000 from customers’ accounts has been given a three-year jail sentence.

Lesley Austin could not explain what the money – secretly taken over six years – had been spent on, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Recorder James Adkins seemed unable to believe that the vast amount of cash could not be accounted for. Mr Adkins told Ms Austin, 48, of Newton Aycliffe, County Durham: “You must have spent it on yourself.”

Ms Austin was manager of a branch of NatWest in Richmond, North Yorkshire, the court was told.

She took money from the accounts of five customers – some of who were dead, and whose savings accounts were pending probate. Paul Abrahams, prosecuting, said she took advantage of situations to steal as much as she could.

The judge told Austin: “You had the ability to move that money and you were in a high degree of trust.”

Simon Perkins, mitigating, said Ms Austin had been suffering from depression and “cracked” when she started stealing in 2008.

Courtesy of York Press/Northern Echo