Retired bank manager jailed for stealing £18,000 from Harpenden residents

Arthur Murray stole £18,000 from residents of The Cedars in Harpenden. Picture: Google Maps

Arthur Murray stole £18,000 from residents of The Cedars in Harpenden. Picture: Google Maps - Credit: Archant

A retired bank manager who stole £18,000 from Harpenden residents has been jailed for just over a year.

Arthur Murray, of Northchurch near Berkhamsted, took funds from The Cedars Maintenance bank account - which was used by the residents of a complex in The Cedars, off Milton Road in Harpenden.

The 72-year-old stole the money in an 18 month period between December 2015 and January 2017.

He pleaded guilty to the offences at St Albans Magistrates Court, and was sentenced to 14 months by Judge Philip Grey at St Albans Crown Court on May 17.

A Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) order was also put in place.

Judge Grey said: "As a former bank employee you were trusted with other people's money, but you treated it as your own.

"There wasn't one victim, but it was sustained theft and you have shown no remorse whatsoever."

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One of The Cedars residents, who wished to remain anonymous, said they were shocked when they heard: "He was a nice bloke, the sort of person who would talk to anyone - he was very charming.

"I couldn't believe it when I heard.

"The rumours were going around that something amiss was happening, but I never thought in a million years he could do it."

The resident added that Murray had shown "no remorse" nor an "ounce of regret" in the lead up to the trial.

St Albans Local Crime Unit Det Con Paul Edmondson gained specialist financial support from the Eastern Regional Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) for the case.

He said: "Murray had huge debts and saw this as an easy opportunity to steal money.

"He put himself forward of managing the maintenance fund with his previous experience as a bank manager.

"We are pleased he received a custodial sentence and we hope under the POCA order, we can compensate the victims for the loss of their money."

Anyone who has information about crime should contact the Herts police non-emergency number on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.