Cashier in debt stole £4k but blamed gang

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By TunbridgeWells People | Friday, January 21, 2011, 08:00

A YOUNG Tunbridge Wells man stole thousands of pounds from his employer’s till – and then blamed a gang of Asian men, a court has heard.

Freddy Hopton-Scott was a cashier at the town’s Halifax Bank when he was caught having stolen £4,000.

The 22-year-old, of Hasletts Close, told police an Asian gang had threatened to hurt his girlfriend and burn his house down if he didn’t steal the money for them.

Crown prosecutor James Nichols said: “He told police he got into trouble at a Tunbridge Wells nightclub with these Asians and got pounced on as he walked home.

“He later admitted that, while the incident in the nightclub took place, he was never approached on the street and never threatened.

“The incident in the nightclub had just given him the idea for his elaborate plan.”

On two occasions, in August and September last year, he stole £2,000 from the bank, storing it in his locker before leaving with it. But once outside, Mr Nichols said the bespectacled Hopton-Scott had become “racked with guilt” and left the money in a bin before running off.

Hopton-Scott’s solicitor, Laura Hollingum, said her client had led a blameless existence until his mum had taken off to France with a new lover. Without her support, he struggled to pay his rent and manage his finances and soon found himself drowning in more than £12,000 of debt.

She added: “It was a mess he got himself into and then didn’t know how to get himself out of it.”

Once he was caught, he came clean with the bank, the police and – last week – the courts, entering four guilty pleas to charges of theft from an employer and false accounting.

He resigned from the bank and his mother loaned him enough to repay the £4,000.

The cash he stole and left in a bin, however, was never recovered.

Hopton-Scott has since moved to North London where he lives with his sister and has regained a previous job in retail at Hamley’s toy shop.

He will be sentenced next month at Sevenoaks Magistrates’ Court following the completion of a pre-sentence report.

      

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