Barclays Bank cashier jailed for theft of St Albans customers’ cash

A BANK cashier who swindled two elderly customers out of thousands of pounds has been jailed for 12 months.

Marion Sullivan, 48, was working at Barclays Bank in St Peter’s Street, St Albans, when she pocketed �12,800 in cash from the account of a 73-year-old man and a 72-year-old woman.

Sullivan, a mother-of-four, pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position and one count of theft by an employee and was sentenced at St Albans Crown Court on Friday.

The court heard between March 2 and May 12 the fraudster withdrew several large cash amounts from the account of the male victim, which she had access to as she served him at the branch.

Prosecutor Alison Ginn said that to cover up the crime Sullivan changed the frequency at which he received bank statements from quarterly to yearly.

The 48 year old also used the victim’s money to replace a further �2,800 which she had stolen from the account of another pensioner.

Barclays traced Sullivan, of Enfield, Middlesex, to the fraud as she used her unique staff number and after failing to attend disciplinary hearings she was arrested.

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When interviewed by police she admitted to making the withdrawals and told them she had been suffering from “mounting debt”.

Jennifer Dannhauser, defending, said in 2011 Sullivan and her husband had been forced to sell their family home due to financial difficulties.

Sullivan, who had been employed by Barclays since August 2007, then received a promotion to sales adviser but was demoted back to a cashier as she lacked experience to perform the higher-paid role.

Due to the salary decrease the family had to move out of their rented accommodation and were subsequently housed by St Albans district council.

Ms Dannhauser also told the court that Sullivan, who was suffering from a depressive illness, had “some kind of relationship” with the 72-year-old victim.

She continued: “She thought he would be OK with all this but she appreciates the enormity of what she had done.

“She maintains while she realises what she had done is wrong she was intending to pay the money back.”

Judge Andrew Bright referred to the fraud as “devious and well-thought-out” and said it was “not short of stealing from elderly people”.

Addressing Sullivan he said: “It [the offence] demands a custodial sentence because people in positions in which you were must know that if they succumb to temptation to take from customers at the bank they will go to prison.”

While Judge Bright said he acknowledged her mitigating circumstances he added: “The illness seems an excuse for downright persistent dishonesty of which you are guilty.”

Barclays has reimbursed the full �12,800 to the customer.