Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting DST to 80360 or email us
Bank worker stole £20,000 to feed her cocaine habit
A THIEVING bank worker who stole more than £20,000 walked free from court - because her colleagues wanted her to just receive a police caution.
Rebecca Orley - who was also a highly-regarded volunteer who worked to keep youngsters out of trouble - took the money to fund a cocaine habit.
The 36-year-old former customer sales advisor, from Stockton, wept with relief when she was spared prison at Teesside Crown Court.
The court heard that she now plans to volunteer for a drugs rehabilitation charity "so she can assist those who find themselves in a similar position".
Katie Rafter, mitigating, told Judge Michael Taylor: "Your Honour can be confident that she will never appear before these courts again."
Miss Rafter added: "Had it not been for her cocaine habit, which plainly escalated, it is my submission none of this would ever have happened.
"She has acted completely out of character and she has brought disgrace upon herself and upon her family, who support her in court today."
The court heard how had been employed by Santander from 1998, and had worked in the Linthorpe branch in Middlesbrough from last October.
In April this year, bosses noticed cash was going missing from ATMs and set up hidden cameras to catch the culprit, said prosecutor Rachel Masters.
After Orley was identified and quizzed as part of an internal investigation, she confessed and told of her surprise at how much she had stolen.
"Santander were content for her to receive a police caution," said Miss Rafter. "Their view was the shame of the internal investigation, the loss of her job, and the proceedings have been punishment in themselves."
Orley, of Leicester Road, Stockton, admitted stealing £20,430 over five months, and was ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid community work.