On 6th August 2013 Denise Salter, formerly a Manager of a branch in Yorkshire Building Society, was jailed for four years for 12 offences of theft, fraud and forgery. It seems that she used her position in the Building Society to siphon of money from the accounts of friends and family in order to pay debts that her sons had accrued. Sometimes this was directly ‘skimming’ money from the accounts, other times it involved creating false documents to suggest that she had invested money on other peoples behalf (when she had in fact pocketed the money).
What to make of the sentence? The starting point is the sentencing guidelines for theft. The sums involved were large, the offences were over a long period of time (12 years), and involved the abuse of a high degree of trust. That puts it right at the top of the relevant bracket, giving a sentence of 6 years.
Ms Salter pleaded guilty straight away and so would be entitled to the full discount of a third off her sentence, giving a sentence of 4 years, which is bang on the money.
Interestingly, there is not going to be a Proceeds of Crime application, but compensation of £2,200 was ordered. This would suggest that Ms Salter had no assets to speak of (bar the small amount of just over two thousand pounds) and the money had been dissipated.
But, whilst there may be an appeal, it is unlikely to succeed. It seems to be a good example of how to use the sentencing guidelines.