Weeting bank worker jailed for deception

A trusted bank employee duped her mother into signing loan agreements for more than £25,000 to subsidise a lifestyle she could not afford.Clare Hovell, 25, who was working as a personal banker at Barclays Bank in Brandon, had the authority to transfer money for loans and used this position of trust to take out loans in her mother's name after fooling her mother into signing documents, Norwich Crown Court heard yesterday.

A trusted bank employee duped her mother into signing loan agreements for more than £25,000 to subsidise a lifestyle she could not afford.

Clare Hovell, 25, who was working as a personal banker at Barclays Bank in Brandon, had the authority to transfer money for loans and used this position of trust to take out loans in her mother's name after fooling her mother into signing documents, Norwich Crown Court heard yesterday.

The mother of three was living beyond her means and used the loans for things such as family holidays, the court heard.

Chris Youell, prosecuting, said Hovell initially took out a loan for £1,600 to pay for a holiday but as the debts and loans built up she took out further loans which ended up amounting to £25,000 - which her mother was unaware had been taken out in her name.


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Hovell, of Lambert Close, Weeting, admitted four counts of obtaining money by deception and asked for seven similar offences to be taken into consideration.

Jailing her for four months, Judge Paul Downes told her: “This was an extremely serious breach of trust. You were in a position at the bank where you were supposed to protect property rather than lose it. You persuaded your mother to sign documents involving large loans to the value of £25,000 or more.”

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He accepted that Hovell started out hoping to repay the loans but it then got to a stage where she could not pay back the money.

He said it was unclear how the money was going to be paid back and whether her mother would be left with the burden.

Mary Cleaver, in mitigation, said Hovell had no money to pay back the loan, adding: “She was living a lifestyle she could not afford to impress friends.”

She said Hovell had been suffering from low esteem and depression at the time.

She was now living with a new partner and they had a baby. The family would do anything they could to avoid her going to prison.

She added that Hovell had to live with the disgrace of what she had done.

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