Banker enjoyed lavish life with pensioners' cash
A Barclays banker from Bristol who funded a lavish lifestyle by helping himself to £95,000 of elderly customers’ savings has been jailed for 15 months.
Joseph Ede worked at the bank’s Bath branch in Milsom Street when he transferred large sums of money to his own accounts at RBS bank, Bristol Crown Court heard.
The court heard he splashed out on a BMW car, expensive holidays, gifts for his then partner and even a fast food trailer business.
Ede, 22, of Bedminster, in the city, pleaded guilty to six counts of fraud.
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Judge Geoffrey Mercer QC told a weeping Ede: “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.”
The court heard Ede’s victims were refunded by the bank, which was left to take the financial hit.
The judge set up a Proceeds of Crime Application (POCA) to claw back Ede’s ill-gotten gains, for March 21 next year.
Peter Coombe, prosecuting, said Ede simply changed bank records to indicate certain customers no longer wanted to have bank statements.
Mr Coombe said that, from June last year to April this year, Ede snatched thousands of pounds’ savings from customers Margaret Burke, 78, Dr John Rees and his wife Sheila, and Elsaline Leacock (now deceased).
Ede was employed by Barclays from 2008 as a personal banker, the court heard.
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.”
Robert Duval, defending, accepted from the outset that his client’s destination was straight to jail and urged compassion from the judge.
Mr Duval said Ede had worked from the age of 14 and by 16 was trying to care for his mother after his alcoholic father left home.
Mr Duval told the court: “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.”
Mr Duval said the bank placed his client in a position of responsibility and he carried out the money transfers to himself.
He told the judge: “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.”