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Prison sentence for thief bank manager

PUBLISHED: 16:48 29 May 2003 | UPDATED: 13:56 03 March 2010

A FORMER Suffolk bank manager could still face jail for stealing thousands of pounds from accounts to pay off huge credit card and gambling debts.

Geoffrey Howlett was sentenced to 15-months in prison suspended for two years.

A FORMER Suffolk bank manager could still face jail for stealing thousands of pounds from accounts to pay off huge credit card and gambling debts.

Geoffrey Howlett was sentenced to 15-months in prison suspended for two years.

Howlett pleaded guilty to eight counts of theft from three separate bank accounts and asked for 50 similar offences to be taken into consideration.

Ipswich Crown Court heard that Howlett, a former bank manager for Barclays in Sudbury, admitted stealing about £15,500 from his wife's bank account and his mother-in-law's and his wife's uncle's account.

Judge Nicholas Beddard said the Crown Prosecution Service believed Howlett, 41, of Herbert Road, Clacton, stole more in the region of £44,000.

However, he sentenced Howlett on the lesser amount and said the sentence had only been suspended because he was the sole carer of his current partner, who suffers from poor health and her three children, one of whom is his.

Judge Beddard said: "I think I can suspend the sentence because of the extreme vulnerability of your partner and the three children. My concern at this stage is for them."

He added that if Howlett was convicted of any other imprisonable offence in the next two years he would have to serve the 15-month sentence as well.

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