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Bank cashier jailed after swindling OAP
A FORMER parish council vice-chairman swindled an elderly and infirm man out of thousands of pounds.
Patricia Box was working at Barclays bank in Bicester when she plundered £9,000 from Donald Marriott’s account.
The customer, who was frail and “vulnerable”, was unknowingly stripped of his money in October and November last year.
Mr Marriott, whose age was not known by prosecutors, died in April.
Box, of Merton, Bicester, admitted one count of fraud and was sentenced at Oxford Crown Court yesterday.
Prosecutor Cathy Olliver said Box, who resigned her post as vice-chairman of Merton Parish Council after her arrest, had worked as a cashier at Barclays for six years.
She said many of the 53-year-old’s colleagues preferred not to deal with Mr Marriott “because of disability relating to his age” but Box “seemed to welcome him and always wished to deal with his bank affairs”.
She added: “The Crown says she had a sinister motive for that”.
Miss Olliver said four transactions were made from Mr Marriott’s account to Box’s parents’ account, to which she had access, before being passed on to the defendant’s own account.
Box, the court heard, had also used a colleague’s log-in identity to make eight transfers.
When questioned by police Box’s parents said they had no knowledge of the money entering and leaving their account.
Box was sacked by Barclays and the bank reimbursed Mr Marriott before his death.
James Reilly, defending, said his client has already paid back £2,600 and was committed to repaying the full amount.
He added: “Essentially she is someone who was going through what I submit was a mid-life crisis, she was going through the menopause and a difficult time with an ex-partner being abusive to her.
“She was getting death threats, she was in an extremely bad position financially.”
He went on: “She finds it hard to believe how she has done this to a member of the bank.”
Recorder Sandeep Kainth called it a “very grave offence” and a “gross breach of trust” committed on an “elderly and vulnerable man”.
He jailed Box for a year.