Single mother who went on shopping spree after $89,000 put in her account by mistake claims she only has to pay it back because she is attractive
A single-mother facing jail after being ordered to repay money she took to go on a designer shopping spree says she is being treated unfairly because of her looks.
Michaela Hutchings, 23, used :£51,821.34 accidentally transferred into her account by Lichfield Council to buy expensive designer shoes, handbags and sunglasses in a spending splurge last year. After she was caught, a judge spared her jail on the condition she paid the money back by Christmas Eve, but now she is complaining that the punishment is unfair, and that she has been made an example of because she is attractive.
In an interview with The Sun, she said: ‘I’ve done wrong but I’m only human, the same as everyone else. They’re punishing me because of the way I look. If I wasn’t much to look at and played the card of “Oh, I only get this much a month, I was in a bit of a sticky situation” I reckon I’d have got a slap on the wrist and just paid back a fiver a week. I pleaded guilty but the only person guilty is the person who put the money in my account. I don’t think I should have been punished the way I was. It’s just outrageous.’
Bungling Lichfield District Council, Staffs, transferred the money into Hutchings account by mistake in April last year instead of paying Bromford Housing Association. She maintains that she wouldn’t have touched the money had it not been for her ex-boyfriend, who she says took her to Birmingham’s Bull Ring Shopping Centre to spend the cash.
In just 48 hours, she hand spent :£8,000 on shopping, and used a further :£1,000 to pay off an outstanding train fine that had built up.
Meanwhile officials at Lichfield Council had realised their error, stopped a further :£44,500 being transferred, and were desperately trying to trace her to explain the error. Hutchings says she was out when two men from the council eventually arrived at her mother’s house, but the next day they came back with riot police who surrounded the area. She says officers with their Tasers drawn handcuffed her, threw her into the back of a riot van, and took her to a police station where she was charged with dishonestly retaining a wrongful credit, which carries up to ten years behind bars.
She told The Sun she is putting aside :£20 a week from working in her parents’ stables, but is considering appealing the terms of her ‘unfair’ repayments.
Michaela should make a list of other excuses why the authorities have ordered her to pay back the money that she spent that wasn’t hers; because she’s blonde, because she’s a woman, because she’s a single mom. I mean, really if I were to make a list of reasons she should be ordered to pay back the money she stole more quickly it would look like this; because she’s an idiot and because she’s a crook. Sometimes I wonder if people actually believe the garbage they let come out of their mouths.
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