A retired bank manager who stole £18,000 from a maintenance fund from a residents' association has been jailed for 14 months.

Arthur Murray, 72, of Northcurch, near Berkhamsted, was trusted with money in the account of Harpenden Residents' Association - but after racking up huge debts, he spotted a chance to solve some of his financial woes.

He pleaded guilty to the fraud offences spanning an 18 month period from December 2015 to January 2017 at St Albans Magistrates Court. The court heard how he stole from the Cedars Maintenance account – which is a residential complex including 30 flats and nine houses in The Cedars, off Milton Road.

At St Albans Crown Court, judge Philip Grey said: “As a former bank employee you were trusted with other people’s money, but you treated it as your own. There wasn’t one victim, but it was sustained theft and you have shown no remorse whatsoever.”

Detective Constable Paul Edmondson from the St Albans Local Crime Unit, who gained specialist financial support from the Eastern Regional Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) said: “Murray had huge debts and saw this as an easy opportunity to steal money. He put himself forward as managing the maintenance fund with his previous experience as a bank manager. We are pleased he received a custodial sentence and we hope under the POCA order, we can compensate the victims for the loss of their money.