A retired bank manager who was trusted with managing a residents' association's funds has been jailed after he stole £18,000.

Arthur Murray, 72, from Northchurch, was jailed for 14 months at St Albans Crown Court on Friday (May 17) after he pleaded guilty to fraud.

Murray who previously worked as a bank manager had huge debts and put himself forward to manage a maintenance fund for The Cedars residential complex in Harpenden, police said.

The Cedars consists of 30 flats and nine houses off Milton Road and is managed by Harpenden Residents' Association.

But instead of managing the fund in an honest way, Murray stole £18,000 during an 18-month period between December 2014 and January 2017.

Judge Philip Grey, who sentenced Murray, 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.”

The court has also put in place for Murray a Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) order - which involves the confiscation of money or assets gained by criminals during the course of their criminal activity.

Detective Constable Paul Edmondson from the St Albans Local Crime Unit 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.”