A FORMER bank manager has been jailed for 40 months after stealing more than £100,000 from his employers.

Benjamin Thornton, 32, of Elgar Close in Clevedon, was jailed for three years and four months at Bristol Crown Court on Tuesday (July 23).

Thornton had admitted at a previous court appearance to stealing from his employees at the Royal Bank of Scotland, between 2012 and 2015, when he was manager of the Baldwin Street branch in Bristol.

During a reorganisation within the bank and the appointment of a new manager at the branch concern was raised and an independent check of cash at the branch was requested, which resulted in a shortfall of £190,000 being identified.

An internal investigation showed that between June 25, 2012 and December 29, 2015, 53 fraudulent transactions were completed.

An initial shortfall of £7,000 increased to £190,000.

Thornton had been taking cash from the branch and hiding the shortfall by moving money around within the bank, so that no-one else would notice.

The police were called.

Further enquiries showed that Thornton alone would be involved in the daily running of the bank, including counting cash at the end of the day; counting cash for audit checks; and even coming into the bank to continue the procedures when he was supposed to be on annual leave.

He initially denied the offences and said that someone else must have used his ID to carry out the theft of the cash, however CCTV coverage showed him attending the branch when he was on annual leave when his ID was used to key in fraudulent transactions.

At an appearance at Bristol Crown Court on June 10 Thornton admitted the offence and was released on bail to re-appear for sentencing July 23, where he received a three year four month jail sentence.