A Barclays banker who plundered £95,000 from the savings of elderly customers to fund his lavish lifestyle has been jailed for 15 months.
Joseph Ede, 22, stripped the cash from the pensioners’ accounts before splashing out on a BMW car, expensive holidays and gifts.
The personal banker was working at Barclays in Bath, Somerset, when he began transferring large sums of money to his own accounts at RBS bank.
Bristol Crown Court heard how he changed bank records so certain customers would not receive bank statements and notice their cash disappearing.
Ede was arrested after Barclays became suspicious of the transfers and later admitted six counts of fraud – telling officers the money had funded his “lavish lifestyle”.
Judge Geoffrey Mercer jailed a weeping Ede, of Bedminster, Bristol, for 15 months at Bristol Crown Court on Friday.
Sentencing, he said: “Customers of banks are entitled to expect their money is safe in the bank and are entitled to rely on the honesty and integrity of people employed by the bank.
“This was a very serious breach of trust.”
Peter Coombe, prosecuting, said Ede carried out his cruel fraud at the Barclays branch in Milsom Street, Bath, from June last year until April this year.
Ede had worked at the bank since 2008 and took cash from customers Margaret Burke, 78, Dr John Rees and his wife Sheila and Elsaline Leacock, who has since died.
Mr Coombe said: “The bank became suspicious and were alerted. It made an investigation and Mr Ede was interviewed twice.
“He admitted what he had been doing and said he had spent a lot of money on a lavish lifestyle.”
Ede’s victims were all refunded by Barclays, which had to take the financial hit.
Robert Duval, mitigating, said Ede had used the cash to fund a lavish lifestyle for himself and his former partner.
He said: “In 2009, he was in a relationship with a young lady, which was not happy. To make the relationship a happy place he would buy gifts for her which he could ill-afford.
“They resulted in financial debt. He was around 20 or 21, he couldn’t obtain credit and he was offered a job with the bank.
“The transfers were made directly and traceably. He was identified as the individual responsible. He was bound to be caught.
“I don’t think a miracle would have helped him.”
Judge Mercer set up a Proceeds of Crime hearing to claw back Ede’s ill-gotten gains on March 21 next year.