A BANKING assistant from Prestwich has been jailed after he stole more than half a million pounds from wealthy clients.

Timothy Brooks, of Stanley Avenue South, was jailed for two years after making fraudulent withdrawals from customer accounts totalling £573,730 since September 2007.

He pleaded guilty to 17 counts of fraud by abuse of position at Manchester Crown Court today.

Brooks, aged 42, worked in Lloyds TSB's private banking division in Manchester and was responsible for managing the accounts of wealthy clients.

His colleagues discovered that he was transferring cash from 17 of his clients’ accounts into his own accounts, using the accounts of his family members.

The company reported allegations to police in July last year, and Greater Manchester Police’s economic crime unit raided Brooks’ home.

Det Con Beth Colbourne, from the unit, said: "Brooks completely abused his position and the trust that was placed upon him by both his employers and his clients.

"He thought he could get away with his illegal activities, but he was wrong.

“Let this serve as a warning that any fraudulent activity will always be uncovered in the end."