Essex

Woman stole £29,000 from grandparents for drugs

A woman who admitted stealing more than £29,000 from her grandparents' life savings to fund a cocaine habit has been given a suspended jail sentence.

The Old Bailey heard Katie Morris, 20, of Drake Avenue, Mayland, Essex, used her position at an Abbey Bank branch to transfer the money from the couple.

Grandparents Douglas and Brenda Brooks said they were upset but did not want to see her jailed, the court was told.

Morris was given a nine-month jail sentence suspended for a year.

Morris was also ordered to complete 160 hours of community work and attend a drug rehabilitation programme.

Cocaine habit

The court heard that Morris transferred £28,170 from her grandfather's account and £1,100 from that of her grandmother while £6,500 was taken from three other bank customers, between November 2008 and October 2009.

The court was told that after the fraud was discovered by her employers she admitted what she had done and was sacked from her job.

The court heard Morris was introduced to cocaine after her boyfriend moved into her flat and his friends started coming round for parties. The relationship had since ended.

Judge Brian Barker told Morris: "You got caught up in a downward spiral of behaviour. I am quite sure you now deeply regret what you have done.

"You have thrown everything away. You have an opportunity to put something back and I hope you do."

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