Bank manager Owen Danter stole £130k from East Yorkshire customers to live high life
A DETECTIVE has accused a well-known bank manager of a "huge breach of trust" for fleecing customers out of more than £130,000.
Owen Danter, 33, stole from customers in their eighties and nineties to fund his champagne lifestyle.
Danter, former deputy chairman of the Beverley and Holderness Conservatives, stole the money while working as a bank manager at the Santander branch in Driffield.
Danter, of Copandale Road, Beverley, took the money in 27 installments from the accounts of five elderly women and from the bank's cash machine between 2007 and 2011.
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He stole £130,022, including £68,969 from one victim and £17,349 from another.
Detective Sergeant John Meagher said Danter, the former joint chairman of Beverley And District Chamber Of Trade, targeted elderly customers deliberately.
DS Meagher said: "He has been living a lifestyle he couldn't possibly cope with on his finances and that is what has driven him to pick on the elderly because he thought they wouldn't notice the money going missing.
"He has picked on his weakest customers. He has been living the high life and spending the money on expensive drinks such as champagne.
"It was a huge breach of trust. Whenever someone has a position of trust looking after people's money, that trust has to be rock solid. He has let his customers down."
DS Meagher said Danter hoped to pay back the stolen money before his clients noticed.
He said: "As his spending got worse and worse, the option to pay it back slowly diminished."
Danter was branch manager of the Alliance & Leicester in Market Place, Driffield, before continuing in the post when it was taken over by Santander last year.
Danter was often seen around Beverley dressed in sharp suits and driving luxury cars.
The net closed in on him when the bank received a complaint and called in auditors to check for abnormalities.
Danter discovered they were coming and was reported missing on July 8 by his family on the day auditors were turning up at the bank.
He attempted suicide and left a note for his family and the bank confessing to taking funds for his own use, adding: "The ATM will be down by £15,000."
However, police found him in his green Land Rover in North Yorkshire.
Danter has pleaded guilty at Hull Crown Court to nine counts of theft and the Honorary Recorder of Hull and the East Riding Judge Michael Mettyear has called for reports.
The bank has fully reimbursed the victims, who had not realised their money had been stolen, and Danter is due to be sentenced next month.
Update: Owen Danter jailed