A bank cashier who stole thousands of pounds from two elderly customers has walked free from court.
Samantha Foster breached her position of trust at the Kirkham branch of Barclays by targeting the accounts of two customers, aged 85 and 90.
She stole almost £12,000 and later claimed to police it made her “physically sick” that one of the victims could think she could do such a thing to him.
Foster, 35, of Bideford Avenue, Blackpool, appeared at Preston Crown Court for sentencing, having earlier admitted two offences of theft.
Craig MacGregor, prosecuting, said the first offence dated back to March 2012. In that instance £4,500 was stolen from the ISA account of an 85-year-old man.
The victim was able to later recall the date of the offence because it was his wife’s birthday.
“He knew exactly where he was that day and certainly wasn’t in the Kirkham branch of Barclays”, said Mr MacGregor.
In May 2012 £7,200 was withdrawn from the account of a 90-year-old man.
The day before, his bank statement frequency had been changed so that he would only receive one once a year.
CCTV showed the pensioner was not in the bank when the money was taken out.
When interviewed by police, Foster claimed: “No, no, I haven’t stolen any money in my life”.
She also said it made her “physically sick” that one of the men could think she could do that to him.
Foster, who was arrested in July 2012, was a woman of previous good character, the court was told.
Both victims had now been recompensed by the bank.
Brian Williams, defending, said Foster had resigned from her job before she was sacked.
“She is a completely different person now to the one who committed the offence”, Mr Williams told the court.
“She is absolutely petrified about what will happen to her today.
“It is the delay and the thought of what will happen to her, for such a long time, which is part of the punishment in this case.
“There hasn’t been a morning in the last two and a half years that she has not woken up and thought about what might happen to her.”
Foster was given six months prison, suspended for two years, with 120 hours unpaid work and told to pay £500 costs.