Cambourne fraudster stole from 7/7 London bombing victim
A BANK worker has been jailed for stealing more than �38,000 from dormant accounts - including that of a customer who died in the July 7 London bomb attacks. Paul Walsh, 35, from Priory Walk, Great Cambourne, who worked for HSBC, repeatedly extended the credit limit o
A BANK worker has been jailed for stealing more than �38,000 from dormant accounts - including that of a customer who died in the July 7 London bomb attacks.
Paul Walsh, 35, from Priory Walk, Great Cambourne, who worked for HSBC, repeatedly extended the credit limit of Anthony Fatayi-Williams who was killed in the 2005 terror attacks.
A year after Mr Fatayi-Williams' death, Walsh accessed the account with a 'dummy card' used by employees to access customers' accounts under specific circumstances.
He raided on 90 separate occasions after changing the correspondence address.
His scam went unnoticed by fellow employees for over a year because a delay in the death certificate meant the account could not be closed. Mr Fatayi-Williams, 26, from Bradford in Yorkshire, was aboard the number 30 bus when it was blown up in the terror attack in Tavistock Square. At first he was missing and his mother, Marie appealed on television for information about her son.
A legal loophole meant his account could not be closed until his death was officially registered.
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Walsh was jailed for two years at Cambridge Crown Court on Wednesday after admitting six counts of false accounting, one count of fraud and one count of theft.
Walsh, joined the branch of the bank in Market Hill, Cambridge, in 1997, where he was promoted to professional studies officer in 2006.
In November 2006 Walsh removed inhibitors which had been placed on the account and increased the credit limit to �14,940, which he had extended to �38,100 by April 2007.
Walsh plundered �32,200 from Anthony's' account, which only had a small overdraft at the time of his death.
In total he made 102 transactions from two accounts, stealing a total of �33,950.
He also stole �750 from a woman whose account had been ''taken out of circulation'' after she was sectioned.
It was later discovered that all of the correspondents' addresses had been changed to ''care of'' himself at the bank branch.
Walsh was sacked in July 2007 following an internal investigation and pleaded guilty to the offences in December 2009.
Speaking after Wednesday's sentencing, Fatayi-Williams' former politics tutor at Bradford University Dr Michael Tribe slammed the 'lenient' sentence.
He said: ''The mind boggles at the lows people can sink to.
''It's bad enough raiding anyone's account, but to do it from someone who was killed in such tragic circumstances, is absolutely appalling.
''I don't think his sentence is long enough.
''Antony was a lovely chap and very enthusiastic. He wasn't frightened to ask questions and is remembered with fondness by us here.
''It is terrible that he should be lost to such a mindless terrorist outrage and now for his bank account to be raided is just beyond belief.''
Sentencing Walsh, Judge Jonathan Haworth said: ''Clearly you were a very trusted employee of the bank and are guilty of a gross breach of that trust.
''Given the amount of money involved this should quite clearly be reflected in a custodial sentence.''
A spokesman for HSBC said: ''This has been going on since 2007 and has been a very difficult time for the family.
''They are just pleased it is now all over and that this gentleman has been given his just deserts.
''It wasn't noticed for a time but it was eventually spotted. We have been in touch with the family to keep them informed throughout.
''We take the security of our customers' money very seriously and we have been working very closely with the police to bring about this successful prosecution.
''This has been a difficult process for the family of our customer and we are pleased the matter is now closed.''