Nelson building society cashier to pay back £7,000 of £20,000 stolen from customer (89)


A BUILDING society cashier who stole more than £20,000 from an elderly customer has been ordered to pay back over £7,000 under a Proceeds of Crime Act confiscation order.

Amy McKechnie (21) formerly of Portland Street, Colne, was jailed for 16 months in December after admitting 17 counts of theft.

McKechnie, who was working for Marsden Building Society, Nelson, at the time of the offence, admitted stealing £20,365.82 from the account of an 89-year-old man.

Police were contacted in November, 2009, after the branch manager noticed a discrepancy in a customer’s account during a routine check. McKechnie had previously been dismissed following an internal investigation.

At Burnley Crown Court, Pennine Division Financial Investigation Unit was successful in its application to have the proceeds from her crimes confiscated. The judge ordered her to pay back £7,293.57 within 28 days or face a further seven days in prison and still owe the money on her release.

Speaking after the hearing, financial investigator PC Adrian Crorken said: “This was a despicable and appalling crime against a vulnerable and elderly man. McKechnie took full advantage of her position working at the building society and committed a serious breach of trust.

“It’s just not right that decent law abiding people have to tolerate criminals enjoying a standard of living that they are not entitled to. More often than not that lifestyle has been achieved at someone else’s expense.

“The public want to know that in addition to any punishment handed out by the court that, whenever possible, offenders are going to be deprived of any profit that they have made from their criminal activities. POCA is one of many tools we are using to come down hard on criminals.”