Stoke & Staffordshire

Lichfield District Council fights to recoup £52K error

A council says it is working with police to recover more than £52,000 mistakenly sent to a woman's account.

The money, intended for a housing association, was transferred to Michaela Hutchings, 23, last April after a "clerical error".

Within hours she went on a spree that saw her buy designer clothes and sunglasses, the Lichfield Mercury said.

On Monday, Hutchings, from Lichfield, was sentenced to community work in a hearing at Stafford Crown Court.

The 23-year-old, of Hamlin Walk, admitted dishonestly retaining a wrongly credited bank transfer and received a 12-month community order, including 150 hours of unpaid work.

Lichfield District Council, which brought the case, said it was trying to recover the funds.

"We are also working closely with our partners to put additional checks into our systems to ensure a similar payment error cannot happen again in the future," Councillor Christopher Spruce said.

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