No5 Chambers barrister Phil Bradley defends in shopping spree fraud case
No5 Chambers barrister Phil Bradley has defended Michaela Hutchings, 23, of Staffordshire, who had £52,000 accidentally transferred into her bank account from Lichfield District Council in April last year, following a clerical error.
Hutchings spent £9,000 on a shopping spree hours after realising the mistake. She also put £40,000 into an investment account and gave her mother £1,000 cash.
At Stafford Crown Court, she admitted dishonesty and retaining a wrongly credited bank transfer. She has been given a 12-month community order and has to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.
Bradley said that Hutchings admitted spending the money gave her a ‘fleeting moment of pleasure’. He added: ‘However, in her mind she was aware this situation would end badly. This was a woman who had shown no sign of dishonesty in her life.’
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The banks’ independent reviewers are now considering consequential loss claims. The FCA expects that process to be concluded by the end of 2014.
The claimant was placed at risk of redundancy with a number of other employees. They were all given the option of choosing voluntary redundancy or redeployment.