A FORMER assistant manager at the Carmarthen branch of the Halifax stole almost £18,000 from the bank to finance a lifestyle “way beyond her means.”
Suzanne Butler, aged 47, spent on lavish holidays, a new kitchen and landscaping her garden.
Butler, of Goetre Bellaf Road, Dunvant, Swansea, admitted theft and was jailed for 12 months.
Stephen Rees, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court that Butler began making out cheques to herself from her Co-op bank account and paying them into her account at the Halifax.
Butler persuaded colleagues to clear the cheques immediately, before the money had left her Co-op account, which it never did.
An investigation began and Butler was suspended.
The day after her suspension it was discovered that £17,900 was missing from the ATM machine at the branch and that it had been withdrawn at a time when only Butler had had access to the machine.
Mr Rees said Butler was arrested and explained she had stolen the money from the branch’s “float” and had gone on to take the money from the ATM machine to replace it and balance the books.
The stolen money would be repaid, said Mr Rees, from Butler’s pension funds.
Francis Jones, representing Butler, said she had been hard working and well regarded and had now suffered a spectacular fall from grace.
“It was inevitable that she would be caught,” he added.
Judge Tracey Lloyd-Clarke said Butler had lived well beyond she could legitimately afford and had spent £3,000 on her garden alone.
“It is always serious to steal from an employer who trusts you,” she added.
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London Bridge hero calls for Carmarthen’s bravest to be nominated
THE HERO of London Bridge who was stabbed nine times as he fought off three terrorists armed with just a police baton has called on Carmarthen people to nominate an unsung hero of their own.
And British Transport Police Officer Wayne Marques said bravery and courage should be recognised because it is inspiring and encouraging to others.
He said: “Every tragedy has a silver lining and it is up to us to make sure that silver shines.”
Wayne, 39, who won the Against All Odds category in last year’s global hearing specialists Amplifon’s Brave Britons awards, was on patrol in the area of London Bridge Station when he heard screams on the evening of June 3 last year and then he saw people being stabbed in Borough High Street near the junction with London Bridge Street.
He charged at one of the terrorists lashing out with his baton. But soon he was being attacked by all three terrorists one stabbing him above his right eye which cause him to go temporarily blind in the eye.
More than 12 months on and Wayne still travels from his South London home to Harrogate, Yorkshire, where he receives rehabilitation treatment.
Seven people died in the attack and many more were badly injured.
Now Wayne is calling on people who know of acts of courage or bravery to nominate them for this year’s Amplifon – who have a store in Merlins Walk Shopping Centre, Carmarthen – Brave Briton awards.
He said: “I first felt surprised and then humble when I was nominated by a person I didn’t even know. The fact they had taken their time to fill in a form and nominate me made me feel very honoured. It would have been wrong for me to respond in any other way.”
Wayne added: “We need more people honoured in the way I was because there are a lot of people out there who go beyond what is expected of them for the sake of others.
“Even uniformed services personnel who do a job where they are expected to sometimes face danger go beyond that expectation and react to the highest magnitude.
“To nominate others and put them in the limelight is so inspiring and encouraging to others in their communities and around the country.
“Through adversity we as a nation tend to pull together. How we rally together makes this country great.”
There are six categories in the Amplifon Brave Britons awards: Against All Odds, Young Hero, Service To Their Country, Active Agers, Hero Pet, and Charity Champion.
Anyone who wishes to nominate a hero in any of the categories should visit http://www.amplifon.com
Finalists will be invited to an awards ceremony to be held at the Army and Navy Club, Pall Mall, London, on Tuesday, October 16.
A panel of judges including Falklands hero Simon Weston will also choose an overall Hero from the category winners who will win a trip to Italy.
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