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Bank clerk Aimi Roberts stole £47k from Halifax cash machines
A BANK clerk responsible for loading cash machines in York city centre has been jailed after stealing £47,000 in a “grotesque abuse of trust”.
Aimi Lauren Roberts, 25, bought a house with a £25,000 deposit and a £14,000 new car, spent £2,800 on furniture and furnishings and paid off loans and credit card debts with the cash she diverted from machines in the Halifax’s Davygate branch.
Roberts, who has now been jailed for 18 months, took banknotes from the stock intended for the machines, paid the money into her personal bank account and covered her tracks by falsifying bank documents, said Howard Shaw, prosecuting at York Crown Court.
She stole the money over seven months then, when management realised what was happening, allowed two other members of staff to remain under suspicion while she lied that the money in her bank account came from a non-existent inheritance.
As the net closed in, she went on sick leave and then resigned but she was later arrested and interviewed by police, to whom she confessed.
She had stolen £47,180 between April and October last year.
Recorder Richard Woolfall said: “It was a grotesque abuse of trust placed in you by the bank and you took a substantial amount of money. Only a custodial sentence is appropriate.”
Halifax had promoted Roberts and put her in charge of nine other staff. She had also been responsible, with two other people, for refilling the bank’s automatic cash machines at the branch.
Roberts, of Woodland Avenue, Leeds, wept through most of the hearing at York Crown Court. She pleaded guilty to fraud and handling criminally obtained cash.
She will return to court in March for a hearing at which the prosecution will seek to confiscate her assets and reclaim the money.
In mitigation, Nicholas Hammond said Roberts had no explanation for the thefts, which had been out of character. She was genuinely sorry.
The thefts had started on a small scale at a time when she had been at a low ebb and she had stopped of her own accord.
When she did stop, she was unaware that management already knew something was wrong as they had yet to question her. He said she was a hard worker, who since leaving the bank job had got work doing night shifts at a care home.