Leeds bank manger must repay £90,000 she stole from elderly customers

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A BANK manager whole stole from elderly customers to feed her addiction to fruit machines has been ordered to pay back £90,000 of her ill-gotten gains.

Lloyds TSB branch manager Catherine Fox’s was jailed for two years in May last year after she admitted 19 charges of theft in which she mainly targeted vulnerable pensioners.

Fox’s nine-month deception was uncovered at the bank’s Moortown branch in Leeds after one of her victims died.

Fox, 54, of Horton Road, Rodley, returned to Leeds Crown Court to face a confiscation hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Paul Reid, prosecuting, said Fox benefitted by a total of £130,000 as a result of her offending.

The court heard Fox had assets available to her worth £90,000.

Judge Rodney Jameson, QC, ordered Fox to pay the sum within six month or face a further prison sentence of up to six months.

The judge ordered that £77,377 of the amount to be paid to Lloyds TSB as compensation.

The court heard Fox will sell her home in order to raise the amount.

At Fox’s sentencing hearing last year, the court heard many of her victim’s were in their 80s.

A relative administering the elderly woman’s estate 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.

Victims told police they had trusted Fox because she had always been so helpful and friendly and were unaware she was pocketing cash for herself.

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, filling in the withdrawal slip for a greater sum than requested.

When her dishonesty came to light she revealed she had gambled on fruit machines and had significant debts.

She said she felt ashamed at what she had done.

She stole 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 35 years to reach her responsible position and had not only lost that employment but her good name.

He told the court she had raised a family successfully, in spite of suffering from depression which had worsened when her father died suddenly and unexpectedly.

Mr Jacobs said her problems “came to a perfect storm” and added: “She needed money and she saw the opportunity which in her weakness she took.”

Judge Scott Wolstenholme said it was “an absolute disaster” for her family, for whom he felt sorry, but added: “It is difficult to think of a more serious breach of trust, a bank manager stealing from customers

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