Westhill man spared jail after keeping £30,000 mistakenly paid into his bank account

Craig Yule had £30,000 put into his bank account by mistake.

A man has been spared jail over an “opportunistic” theft where he kept £30,000 mistakenly paid into his bank account – which he then used to buy a car.

Craig Yule, 25, discovered the funds had been paid into his account in December 2013.

However, he kept the money, splashing out £21,000 in cash to buy a six-year-old Ford Focus RS car.

He had previously admitted stealing £30,000 that had been incorrectly credited to his account and misappropriating the funds for his own use knowing he had no right to them.

The offence took place on December 5, 2013. An incorrect sort code was entered and the cash ended up in Yule’s account rather than the intended recipient.

Yule was caught after the man who originally made the bank transfer made inquiries as to why the money had never reached its destination – it was then the error was discovered.

The case had been deferred on previous occasions in order for Yule to hand over the key to the car so that the victim could try to sell it to claw some of the missing cash back.

Self-employed agricultural contractor Yule had originally claimed he had sold the car and didn’t know who to. However, it was later discovered this was not the case – and the vehicle was found on a remote road at a fencing firm in Inverurie.

Defence for Yule Ian Hingston said the key to the car was now in the hands of the victim of the offence.

Mr Hingston also said the man “surprisingly did not hold any malice” towards Yule over what had happened.

Sheriff Graeme Napier said there had been a “significant amount of immaturity” in Yule’s behaviour.

On sentencing he told him: “Your behaviour throughout these proceedings has been little short of disgraceful.”

He went on to say the theft had been “opportunistic” rather than “concerted.”

But he added: “Why anyone would think that someone would just put £30,000 in their bank account, I just do not understand.”

Sheriff Napier told Yule, of Crombie Acres, Westhill, he would have to carry out 220 hours of unpaid work within nine months. He will also have to wear an electronic tag for three months and be confined to his home address at certain times.