Samaritan Banker Spared Jail

A Personal Bank Manager who felt sorry for a hard-up family he only barely knew, has escaped jail after making bogus payments into their account.

Scott Rutter was the Personal Banking Manager to the Parsons family when he was based at Lloyds Bank branches in Hemel Hempstead, Dunstable, Luton and Edgware.

Over two and a half year he invented interest payments amounting to £142,964.

At St Albans Crown Court, David Chrimes, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said Rutter made 382 different transactions. After he was sacked in February 2009 he even gave them money from his own personal account. The theft came to light last year and when he was arrested Rutter made a 'full and frank admission.'

Mr Chrimes said "He said he suffered from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and that he had he felt sorry for the family. What is most unusual about this case is that there is no evidence that he gained a penny for himself.  He had little contact with the family out of the bank, but had attended the 50th birthday party of one of them."

The 32 year-old from Compton Terrace, Leeds pleaded guilty to theft and had no previous convictions.

Alex Radley, defending, said: "It is a remarkable case. There had been a desperate plea to him to help with a solution to the family's debt and financial problems. They were his private customers and had a large overdraft, bank loans and a very large mortgage.

He tried to assist them by giving the family a consolidation loan. Then he felt he made their situation worse by making them more vulnerable to debt.  He thought Mrs Parsons was becoming suicidal and he felt he should help."

Recorder Francis Laird QC passed a 12 month sentence suspended for 2 years. He must carry out 300 hours' unpaid work - the maximum term - within the next year. He must also abide by an electronic curfew at his home between 9pm and 6am for the next four months.

The Recorder told him: "I have found this case extremely troubling and puzzling. I am just persuaded to pass a merciful sentence. You have been extremely fortunate today. Do not let me down."

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