Beds, Herts & Bucks

Former bank manager Arthur Murray stole from residents' fund

St Albans Crown Court Image copyright sbna
Image caption Arthur Murray was jailed at St Albans Crown Court

A debt-ridden former bank manager has been jailed for defrauding his neighbours out of more than £18,000.

Arthur Murray, 72, channelled maintenance money from a Hertfordshire residents' association into his own account after racking up debts of £115,000 from struggling businesses.

He pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position and was jailed for 14 months at St Albans Crown Court.

Judge Philip Grey said: "You showed contempt for those whose money it was."

He added: "As a former bank employee you were trusted with other people's money, but you treated it as your own."

Image copyright Google
Image caption Arthur Murray managed maintenance funds for residents of The Cedars in Harpenden

Murray, of Northchurch near Berkhamsted, was trusted to look after the maintenance funds for the Cedars flats in Milton Road, Harpenden, a complex made up of nine houses and 30 flats.

He was given the position after telling one of the company directors he had been a bank manager, said prosecutor Michael Mulkerrins.

Murray diverted £24,850 into his account between December 2015 and January 2017, of which just £6,580 was legitimately paid out for maintenance work.

He repaid £3,000 in April last year, but had £115,000 in debts, said Mr Mulkerrins.

In mitigation, David Harris said Murray had taken two franchises for printing shops but "business took a dive as a result of new technology".

His debts were now down to £99,000 and being paid off at the rate of £85 a month, he added.

The judge said many victims were left to pick up the shortfall in the maintenance account.

A proceeds of crime hearing will be held at a later date.

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