Pregnant woman stole nearly £7,000

A “DESPERATE” pregnant woman stole thousands of pounds from branches of Barclays Bank across Suffolk in a matter of hours, a court has heard.Linda Skilton opened up a fake account at the high street bank before stealing almost £7,000 from branches in Woodbridge, Saxmundham and Stowmarket.

A “DESPERATE” pregnant woman stole thousands of pounds from branches of Barclays Bank across Suffolk in a matter of hours, a court has heard.

Linda Skilton opened up a fake account at the high street bank before stealing almost £7,000 from branches in Woodbridge, Saxmundham and Stowmarket.

She told magistrates yesterday that the elaborate scam had been arranged by a mysterious nightclubber - known only to the defendant as Ryan - who had not been found by police.

Skilton was only caught after eagle-eyed staff at the Bury St Edmunds branch - the fourth she had visited in one day -noticed fake identity documents she was using to draw out the money.


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The 26-year-old, of Birkfield Drive, Ipswich, pleaded guilty to four counts of obtaining property by deception and two counts of using false instruments after she used a fake driving licence and British Gas bill to set up the accounts.

Gareth Davies, prosecuting, said Skilton had visited Barclays Bank in Witham, Essex, ten days before stealing the money and set up an account under the fictitious name of Iris Sharp.

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“The defendant paid a dud cheque of £9,600 into the new account,” Mr Davies told the court. “Before Barclays realised it was a dud cheque, she had gone to four branches and drew large sums of money out of three of them.

“But when she went to the branch in Bury, staff realised, when they were carrying out their security checks, that the driving licence was fraudulent.”

In a police interview, Skilton said she had been approached by a man in Zest Nightclub, in Ipswich, and asked if she wanted to earn some money.

Skilton supplied the man, who she knew only as Ryan, with a passport photo and he later gave her a fake driving licence and bill to enable her to open the account.

The court heard she later stole £1,400 from Barclays in Woodbridge, and then £2,600 each from the branches in Saxmundham and Stowmarket. The offences all happened in August.

But when arrested, police could find no trace of the money and subsequent investigations have failed to find the mystery clubber.

Mr Davies said: “At that stage, the defendant was redundant and pregnant - she was in something of a desperate plight. This was a very sophisticated and elaborate scam she was involved in but she was not the main force or drive behind it.”

The case was adjourned for pre-sentencing reports and Skilton's case will be heard again at Sudbury Magistrates Court on December 12.

A spokesman for Barclays last night said they were unable to comment on individual cases.

dave.gooderham@eadt.co.uk

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