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.’