Company accidentally puts £35,000 in young girl's bank account and parents quickly spend it on gambling, clothes and shopping

The money was accidentally put in the bank account and quickly spentThe money was accidentally put in the bank account and quickly spent
The money was accidentally put in the bank account and quickly spent
A couple ploughed through a £35,000 payment mistakenly deposited in a family member’s bank account.

Natasha Kellie Adams and her partner Dean Adrian Rice spent the cash on servicing their gambling debts and shopping for clothes and other items, Northampton Crown Court heard.

Adams, 31, discovered in March 2020 that £34,569 had been mistakenly paid into her young daughter’s bank account in 2020 by packaging firm Rajapak Limited.

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Instead of contacting the bank, she transferred the money to herself and her partner and ‘swiftly’ spent it.

The pair, from Folkestone Drive, Corby, had denied the charges at trial but a jury found them guilty. During the trial, the court was told that Barclays had ‘recycled’ the previously closed bank account and given the account number to Adams’ daughter. Rajapak had then used the defunct account details to pay a £35,000 bill – but the money ended up in the girl’s account.

Adams spotted it and withdrew it, claiming during trial that she believed it was money that her own mother had previously promised to give to the child. But the jury saw through this lie and found her guilty of one count of retaining a wrongful credit. She also admitted failing to attend a court hearing in August last year for which a warrant was issued for her arrest.

Rice, 61, was convicted of using criminal property – £10,000 moved by Adams into his bank account. They were back in Northampton Crown Court yesterday (Tuesday, April 30) for sentence. His Honour Judge David Herbert said that the crime was opportunistic and the money was moved ‘swiftly, in different directions, and was spent quickly.’

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"This was a simple error by the company,” he said. "You transferred that money into your own bank account and went on to spend it. You knew full well the money was not from your mother. You spent the money on debts, gambling, clothing and other shopping and transferred £10,000 to Mr Rice. Mr Rice you knew how it had been obtained and at the very least that it was proceeds of crime. You spent it very quickly. By the time it was realised by Rajapak you’d spent it all. You took advantage of their mistake.”

Adams was given a community order to include 20 rehabilitation requirement days and 100 hours of unpaid work. She was fined £200 for failing to attend court. She said from the dock: ‘You won’t see me again.’ Rice was 80 hours of unpaid work. The court was told by barrister Siobhan Caukwell, mitigating for Adams, that Rajapak had not been repaid the £35,000 but that the imposition of an order for compensation was ‘somewhat disproportionate to her client’s means’. Adams works three or four days per week in a minimum wage job.

Rice is a lorry driver and initially had told probation workers that he would be unable to complete unpaid work because of the long hours he works. But Judge Herbert said he could complete the work at the weekend. The company is currently pursuing the debt through the civil court and the court heard that bailiffs had already visited their property.

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