Cleaner disgustingly blew £31,000 of charity shop takings

Cleaner who stole from Mencap Charity sentenced

A cleaner disgustingly blew £31,000 after a charity shop accidentally transferred more than £90,000 into her bank account.

Comfort Konadu, a fifty-two-year-old cleaner from Openshaw Manchester, had returned a £9 item to a charity shop but staff added five noughts while entering the electronic credit note.


Once she realised the mistake, Konadu transferred £57,000 into other accounts including those of her family in a bid to hide the funds.

Officials at the Royal Mencap Society soon discovered the error but only managed to retrieve two-thirds of the missing money.

It is believed the charity, which helps people with learning difficulties, will now be liable for the loss because it was caused by human error.

Two workers at the charity were suspended and subsequently sacked over the mistake.

At Manchester Crown Court Konadu, who has six children and 12 grandchildren, admitted theft and was sentenced to 15 months in prison, suspended for two years.

She will now face a Proceeds of Crime hearing where she will be expected to return the outstanding £31,000 – which represents 18 months worth of profits for the charity shop. It is not known what the cash was spent on.

The incident occurred after Konadu went to the Mencap shop in Openshaw, Manchester, on October 11 last year to get a refund for an item she had bought.

Kate Gaskell prosecuting said: ‘Once the money was in her account it would have been very obvious to her that that money should not have been in her bank account.

‘What followed was a flurry not only to her bank account but to her friends and family’s accounts as well.

‘The debit went in and was processed on October 11, but it was the weekend and it appears that the money doesn’t actually lend till October 14.

‘Thereafter on the same date October 14, all the financial activity takes place. On October 15, the remaining £40,000 is frozen quickly and taken back by Barclays Bank. ‘

Konadu, of Openshaw, claimed she had been expecting £12,000 into her account from another source and said at first she assumed the transfer was legitimate..

The defence counsel Max Saffman said: ‘She has some family who lives in this country and some who live in Ghana were some of the money went.

‘Until his windfall, she was leading a very modest lifestyle and she is a hardworking lady the vast majority of the time.

‘The money was more than she could ever have dreamt of and temptation got the better of her.’

Sentencing Judge Nicholas Dean QC said: ‘This was an unexpected windfall that the defendant took advantage of.

‘You immediately should have reported it to both to your bank and to Mencap that the credit had been lodged in your account in error.

‘That is out of character for you and you have brought on yourself a great shame and I dare say a very great deal of anxiety.

‘You leave this court with a stain on your character and in my judgment that is going to be considerable punishment as you have brought shame on yourself and dare I say your family.

‘I’m confident you will not re-offend as you are in normal circumstances a hard-working individual.


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