A BANK worker stole cash from his company to pay off debts run up paying for private IVF treatment to start a family.
Jagtar Binning took more than £4,000 from the accounts of Barclays customers while employed as a call centre operator at Doxford International Business Park, in Sunderland.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the 34-year-old would transfer cash from customers’ accounts into his own.
He pleaded guilty to three charges of theft and one of attempted theft.
Jamie Adams, defending, said Binning struggled to cope after he and his wife paid £11,000 for private IVF treatment.
The couple now have a baby..
“This is not one of those offences which comes from greed, but rather from need.
“They had been, for years, trying to have children and the waiting list for IVF was very long. They therefore decided to borrow money in order to do it privately. It came to something like £11,000.
“They were paying back loans at a rate they just could not afford, a mortgage as well.
“The loans were something like £500 per month. It was against that background he did what he did.”
Mr Adams said Binning is “deeply, deeply ashamed and remorseful” and realises he was misguided due to desperation.
Judge John Evans jailed Binning, of Fatfield Park, Washington, for six months, suspended for 12 months, with 180 hours unpaid work.
The judge said: “There is no suggestion here you were stealing for the purpose of high living, that is not the case.
“Your indebtedness in the first place was in part accumulated as a result of a desire to engage in private IVF treatment.
“I am satisfied the likelihood of further offendng is minimal.”
The court heard Binning had worked at the call centre since November 2010.
It was on February 16, last year, he helped himself to £520 from a retired customer’s account after the man rang in with a query.
Just four days later he tried to transfer £3,000 from the same account but the request was refused.
On March 1 he took £1,492 from a 78-year-old account holder.
And his final theft was on March 28, of £2,225 belonging to a 68-year-old.
Binning was arrested at work on April 10 and was “clearly upset and began to cry” when the police came for him.
He admittted what he had done when interviewed by detectives.
The court heard the bank managed to recoup the £2,225 taken from the last account in March.
Binning was ordered to pay back the outstanding £2,000, which he had agreed to borrow from family.
Barclays had already reimbursed the customers’ accounts with what was taken.