A BANK cashier who stole cash from the account of an elderly dementia sufferer has been jailed for two years.

Gambling addict Daniel Moss, 21, took more than £40,000 over seven months from Leonard Poole, 90.

Mr Poole’s son Richard called for an investigation after his dad could not remember withdrawing large amounts of cash from the HSBC at Milford-on-Sea. It transpired the thefts had been made from Moss’s terminal, except one from a terminal left on by a colleague, prosecutor Rachel Robertson told Southampton Crown Court.

“It was clear he had made the transactions and counter withdrawal slips had been forged,” she said.

“The last one was on January 2, 2009, the last day he worked at that branch for the bank.”

Moss said he had made a mistake while working one day in Brockenhurst and discovered his till was £2,000 down. He transferred the deficit back to the Milford-on-Sea branch and hoped to pay it back.

The court heard Moss gambled to pay off the loss but then began taking cash from Mr Poole and still lost.

He also took money from other accounts, debiting it one day and putting back the next to balance the books.

Ms Robertson said the thefts ranged from £1,500-£8,800.

“The aggravating features are a breach of trust at the bank, an elderly and vulnerable victim and casting suspicion on a colleague.”

The court heard how Moss initially gambled at a casino once a week but then it became three or four times as he bet about £6,000 a month, and had bet more than £50,000 in total.

Moss, of The Brackens, Dibden Purlieu, admitted seven counts of theft.

Mitigating, Keeley Harvey said Moss knew Mr Poole had a substantial amount of money in his account but did not realise he suffered dementia.

“The HSBC are pursuing civil proceedings, he is in considerable debt. He has destroyed his life, he has lost his job and his reputation and he is danger of losing his house.”