A FORMER bank clerk who stole £14,000 from an elderly customer’s account sobbed as she was handed a suspended jail sentence.

Maddison Taylor, 23, who worked for the NatWest in Poole, admitted plundering the woman’s funds on five occasions in October last year.

Prosecuting at Bourn-emouth Crown Court, Stuart Ellacott said Taylor, who now lives in Hampton, Middlesex, had been employed as a customer adviser when money from her victim’s account was siphoned into her own.

After leaving the bank on October 24 last year an investigation was launched by the bank’s fraud department and the police were alerted when irregularities were found.

By the time Taylor had been traced the stolen money had been spent. She admitted five counts of theft between October 12 and October 24.

Defending, Robert Grey said: “They were the most unsophisticated offences over a 12-day period; she was bound to be discovered.”

Mr Grey described his client as “a very nervous woman”, adding that she had entered early guilty pleas, had no previous criminal convictions and had two job interviews lined up for the following day which did not involve handling money.

Taylor’s grandfather, film director Richard Taylor, 79, said she was still haunted by the death of her mother who suffered from alcoholism and had been affected by her parents’ divorce.

Imposing an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, Judge Samuel Wiggs described the offences as “extremely serious” but added: “I’m just able to take the view that it is not in the public interest to send you straight to prison.”

Taylor was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid community work and pay the NatWest, which has reimbursed her victim, £4,000 compensation.