Bank manager cleared of £1m theft
Saturday 30 January 2010
A former junior bank manager was yesterday cleared of stealing nearly £1m from a high street bank after a jury accepted that her violent boyfriend frightened her into taking the money.
Ania Wadsworth, 28, of Archway, north London, admitted stealing £921,716.95 from Lloyds TSB in Golders Green, north London, between 2002 and 2007. The court heard her boyfriend Keith "Junior" Preddie, 20, of Romford, Essex, would beat her up if she did not come home with the money he had demanded. He spent the money on BMW cars, holidays, his £500-a-day crack habit and a failed music business. Preddie was found guilty of laundering £145,370.
The Old Bailey was told that Ms Wadsworth began taking amounts as small as £30 when she first started work but her thieving escalated to walking out of the branch at Golders Green, north London, with bundles of £25,000, stolen while she was loading cash machines.
But none of the missing money was traced to her and she had been living modestly. An expert on domestic abuse said Ms Wadsworth showed signs of battered woman syndrome and "learned helplessness". She had been with Preddie since she was 16 and told the court that she lived in fear of violence from Preddie and believed he would kill her or her family if she did not bring cash home. Even after they split, three years before she was arrested, he continued to demand money, the court heard.
Following a nationwide audit, Ms Wadsworth was arrested in March 2007. Detective Sergeant Suzanne Ferris, of City of London Police, said outside court: "We found no evidence in her finances to show she had any gain."
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more