A BANK call centre worker stole nearly £1,000 from a customer’s account after jotting down his password.
Laurence Donkin was fielding an inquiry while at work as a Barclays Bank telephone advisor, at Sunderland’s Doxford International Business Park, when he was given the password by the customer.
The 30-year-old later used that information to withdraw £977 while posing as the account holder over the telephone.
Donkin had left the bank by the time he committed the fraud and was in the Czech Republic looking for work in the hospitality industry, but those plans fell through.
The victim spotted the withdrawals and called the bank.
Donkin, of Sunnirise, South Shields, was arrested at Heathrow Airport as he flew back to the country.
South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard the victim had subsequently died.
Donkin pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud by false representation and was handed a 12-week jail term, suspended for two years.
Barclays reimbursed the customer for the full amount and launched an inquiry.
The court heard Donkin had resigned from his bank job in January to pursue hospitality work abroad.
After the Czech Republic, he found work in Greece and was returning from there when arrested last November.
Robin Ford, defending, called the crime “a desperate act of a desperate man, not sophisticated in any way, shape or form.”
Mr Ford said his client had already saved up the money in readiness to pay the amount back to his former employers.
Magistrates said the bench had seriously considered jailing Donkin before imposing a suspended sentence.
Donkin was also ordered to complete 180 hours of unpaid work and pay compensation to Barclays Bank of £977.46, a victim surcharge of £80 and court costs of £85