A bank manager stole £70,000 from elderly customers at her branch to feed a gambling addiction, a court heard.
Catherine Joy Fox had worked for Lloyds TSB for 35 years before her dishonesty was uncovered at the Moortown branch in Leeds after one of her victims died.
Nicoleti Alistari prosecuting told Leeds Crown Court a relative administering the estate of that elderly woman noticed discrepancies and reported it to the bank.
An internal investigation then revealed Fox had stolen from 19 customers over a nine-month period particularly targeting pensioners who might not notice what she was doing. The court heard Fox helped herself to amounts varying from £500 to £6,000 between July 2010 and April 2011, either when she transferred money for them from one account to another or when they came in to withdraw cash. She would fill in the withdrawal slip for a greater sum than requested.
She had stolen a total of £74,600, with the bank having to pay back a further £2,727 in interest and compensation.
Tim Jacobs, representing Fox, said she had worked hard for the bank for years to reach her position and had not only lost that employment but her good name.
She’d had medical treatment for a shoulder and neck injury, and with debts and her gambling addiction “it came to a perfect storm and she did not know how she was going to cope. She needed money and she saw the opportunity which in her weakness she took.”
Fox, 53, of Horton Close, Rodley, Leeds, was jailed for two years after she admitted 19 charges of theft. Judge Scott Wolstenholme said: “You systematically stole large amounts of money from customers. It is difficult to think of a more serious breach of trust – a bank manager stealing from customers.”