Cleaner cleans up after bungled bumper payday


By Michael MacLeod

A CLEANER who was mistakenly paid £36,000 managed to spend £17,000 of it within just two days.

Catherine McLean, 39, didn’t question her boss when the bumper pay packet landed in her bank account on April 2.

By April 4 she had spent almost half of the cash clearing her debts, but was stopped in her tracks when her employer realised the blunder.

But when the Edinburgh woman said she could only give him back £19,000, he called police.

McLean, of the city’s Broomhouse Gardens appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court today (Friday) charged with stealing £17,000 from an address in the nearby Broomhouse Crescent.

She admitted the charge and was given time to pay back the money.

Fiscal Depute Aidan Higgins said: “Her employer is a private businessman.

“He was conducting online banking and carried out various transactions and mistakenly transferred into her account a total of £36,000.

“It appears that she spent it paying outstanding debts and various ATM withdrawals.

“When her employer realised the mistake, he contacted the accused to arrange for the return of the £36,000.

“The accused was only in a position to return £19,000.

“That being so the accused’s employer contacted the police.”

McLean’s defence agent Jim Stephenson said: “She has sold her house and the proceeds won’t be processed until January.

“It may be that the £17,000 won’t be repaid until then.”

Sheriff Derrick McIntyre agreed to defer sentence, but added: “Naturally this money will have to be repaid.”

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