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Last Updated: Friday, 17 March 2006, 18:25 GMT
Woman jailed for Harry Hill theft
Harry Hill
Conmen stole 279,000 from comedian Harry Hill's bank account
A bank cashier who helped conmen steal 279,000 from comedian Harry Hill has been sentenced to four years in prison.

Sharmane Dillon, from Perivale, London, passed on confidential details about the accounts of the comedian and other Halifax customers, a court heard.

A total of more than 578,000 was taken from five people's accounts in 2004.

Dillon, 23, admitted passing on bank details allowing cash to be transferred but denied conspiracy to defraud. She was convicted on one conspiracy count.

The customer service adviser at Halifax's Wembley branch claimed she had been approached on three occasions by men who wanted help accessing personal information.

Threat of violence

The first two times she refused but on the third meeting they threatened to beat her family up if she did not comply.

In mitigation at Harrow Crown Court, defence counsel Simon Molyneux said Dillon was a victim who was susceptible to manipulation and the threat of violence.

Mr Molyneux said Dillon, of Woodhouse Close, had never received, been offered, or asked for any financial reward for her actions.

But Judge Susan Tapping said Dillon had been repeatedly warned from the moment she obtained her job as a cashier in 2003 about the consequences of revealing confidential information and had been given education courses on what to do about approaches by suspicious individuals.

After the case, Ms Dillon's solicitor Oliver Goldman told BBC News she was utterly devastated by the verdict and the sentence and was lodging an immediate appeal.

He said she had been exploited by a ruthless gang and had paid the ultimate price.

Fraud case accused 'threatened'
09 Feb 06 |  London

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