Bank cashier who stole £6,000 spared jailBy Laura Herbert
March 20, 2012
A bank cashier who helped herself to £6,000 of customers’ cash has avoided a prison sentence.
Student Zaynah Karim claimed she was forced to steal the money while working part-time at Barclays in Richmond, Surrey, as she had not paid her utility bills and her boyfriend was out of work.
A court at the Old Bailey heard she stole £1,500 from one customer in January last year, and £4,500 from another client a month later.
The money was paid into her boyfriend’s bank and then transferred by Karim into her own accounts.
The 22-year-old, who was studying for a degree in finance and economics at Kingston University, was arrested when a customer complained, but insisted she was unaware of the transfers.
Karim, of Coombe Pine, Crown Wood, was sentenced at the Old Bailey on Thursday, March 8, after previously admitting two counts of fraud by abuse of position.
Judge Antony Morris told her she would normally go straight to jail.
He said: “I am told the reason you carried out these offences was you were in financial difficulties with utility bills that had mounted up.
“These offences involved a grave breach of trust.
“You were trusted by Barclays to act honestly in your dealing with customers’ accounts and you breached that trust by stealing that money.
“Normally in a situation like this a defendant can expect an immediate custodial sentence.”
But the judge added: “With some hesitation I am not going to send you to prison today.”
Karim was given a six-month sentence suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 200 hour’s unpaid work.
Barclays asked that she was also ordered to pay back the £6,000, but the judge found Karim had no means to find the cash.
Karim fought back the tears as the judge told her: “You are an extremely fortunate young lady. I hope you realise that and you take advantage of the leniency that has been extended to you today.”