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Last Updated: Friday, 16 July, 2004, 16:46 GMT 17:46 UK
Couple spent 24,550 in six days
The Pyramids of Giza
The couple travelled to Egypt using the council's money
A council will fight to retrieve 24,550 it accidentally deposited into a couple's bank account.

The pair spent the money in just six days, buying expensive goods and going on holidays to France and Egypt.

At a hearing at Derby Crown Court on Thursday, Louise Inger, 34, and Nathan Sault, 32, were jailed for six months for theft.

The council said on Friday it was now taking civil legal action to retrieve the money.

The court heard Inger could not believe her luck when the windfall landed in her bank account on 1 December last year.

We are still pursuing the money and we don't give up lightly
Carol Mee

Because of an administrative error, Derby City Council had credited her with the sum instead of paying her landlord, Hallmark Community Housing.

Inger, of St Mary's Wharf Road, Chester, and partner Sault, of Coniston Crescent, Breadsall Hilltop, ignored repeated pleas to return the money,

They spent it on mobile phones, clothing and holidays to Euro Disney and Egypt.

'Greedy and dishonest'

After the couple returned from Euro Disney, they were arrested and in interview Sault said: "We spent the lot."

Inger and Sault who admitted theft were described as "greedy" and "thoroughly dishonest" by Judge John Wait.

The council will now seek to recoup its money under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Council spokeswoman Carol Mee said: "We are still pursuing the money and we don't give up lightly."

She said the council had tightened procedures in its finance department to ensure such a mistake does not happen again.

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