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Judge slams Barclays over £90k theft from pensioner

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BARCLAYS Bank have been slammed by a judge after their former bank clerk was cleared of stealing £90,000 from a pensioner's inheritance.

Sarah Adams, 31, was accused of taking the money from the account of Kathleen Lewis, 86, but was unanimously cleared by a jury yesterday.

Adams, a counter supervisor at the Lower Addiscombe Road branch, denied raiding Ms Lewis' account nine times between July 1 and August 8, 2010, for £10,000 on each occasion.

Ms Lewis had inherited £195,000 from her sister but did not realise almost half had gone for a year because she only received six-monthly statements.

When the bank investigated the theft, they found all the money transfers had been made using Adams' log-in details.

But Adams insisted it was possible one of her colleagues had framed her.

She said she regularly went on breaks from her computer without locking it and had her passwords written down in her unlocked desk.

She also said all of her colleagues knew her ID number.

Judge Jeffrey Pegden said: "It has been apparent to all who dealt with this case, and a matter of very real surprise, that Barclays Bank have really been lacking in co-operation throughout.

"That is something that should not happen.

"It has been absolutely noteworthy throughout that when material had to come from the bank to the court they failed to co-operate.

"It is a situation that should never happen again, and it should be them that are paying the costs wasted at this court on at least three occasions."

The judge said an original trial date, on April 29, had to be abandoned because the prosecution case had not been fully prepared.

He said the bank then failed to deliver material against Adams on time at subsequent hearings.

Adams, of Catford, was in tears as the verdict was delivered and told jurors "thank you so much".

Judge slams Barclays over £90k theft from pensioner


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