Not much difference in the sentence one steals a jar of coffee other steals £32,000
Gambling clerk from Witney stole bank customers' cash
Friday 7th June 2013 in Witney http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/yourtown/witney/10469789.Gambling_clerk_stole_bank_customers__cash/?ref=rss
A BANK cashier who became a gambling addict has avoided jail despite helping himself to £32,600 from customers' accounts.
Jonathan Woodward, of Windrush Valley Road, Witney, was handed an 18-month suspended sentence after he admitted six counts of fraud by abuse of position.
The 22-year-old repeatedly debited thousands of pounds from six accounts at the Witney branch where he worked between February and November last year.
He was investigated by the bank after the Earl of Donoughmore, who lives in Bampton, complained that £18,900 had been withdrawn from his account without permission.
Finding Woodward’s teller ID number had been used to debit the money, along with five other suspicious transactions, the bank fired him and passed his details on to the police.
When he was arrested, the defendant told officers he had taken the money because he had developed a £500-a-day gambling addiction.
Checks of Woodward’s bank account revealed many payments to betting shop Ladbrokes, as well as one payment for a rowing machine.
Jonathan Stone, prosecuting, said the fraud had not been particularly sophisticated but was aggravated by being carried out by “a trusted employee of the bank”.
He added that Halifax has agreed to refund all the money taken to its customers.
One of the customers who lost money, 89-year-old Peter Way, of Abbey Place, in Eynsham, had £4,900 withdrawn from his account. He said: “I didn’t spot it for a while, but then I saw the manager of the Halifax branch in Witney.
“He said that I would have the money returned.”
Woodward, who is a qualified football coach and now works at the Ferry Leisure Centre in Witney, has offered his £4,000 savings to the bank to cover some of its losses.
Robert Lindsey, defending, said his client had no previous convictions and had done voluntary work teaching disabled children football. He told the court: “Mr Woodward is sickened and disgusted by what he has done.
“He wishes to attempt to make amends and pay back the money which he has defrauded.
“He is naive and rather inexperienced in life and found his gambling habit spiralling.”
Recorder Patrick Vincent said Woodward would also have to complete 250 hours of unpaid work and pay £300 costs.
He told him: “You are a young man with a good record at school and college and after achieving that it is nothing short of tragic that you find yourself here today.
“Although I would not take the view you targeted vulnerable people, you clearly planned the fraud to take money from the accounts of people you thought were the least likely to notice.
“And the fraud stopped because you were caught, not because you chose to stop.”
Mr Stone told the court the prosecution will now apply under the Proceeds of Crime Act to recover the money taken by Woodward.
No one at the Halifax was available to comment
Not much difference in the sentence one steals a jar of coffee other steals £32,000Gambling clerk from Witney stole bank customers' cashFriday 7th June 2013 in Witney http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/yourtown/witney/10469789.Gambling_clerk_stole_ba