Thieving HSBC worker is found hanged
A bank clerk who fled from court moments before she was due to be sentenced for stealing almost £120,000 (€134,000) from customers is believed to have killed herself in a suicide pact with her husband.
Bindi Dhanji (31) was facing up to six years in jail after admitting two counts of theft by an employee while working as a senior clerk at an HSBC branch in west London. She fled court before her sentencing began on Tuesday afternoon.
Yesterday at 6.40am, she was found with her husband hanging from a footbridge close to their home at the busy Staples Corner junction off the North Circular Road in north-west London. The pair have not been formally identified and police say their deaths are not being treated as suspicious.
Dhanji had admitted stealing £118,000 from two pensioners' accounts while working at the bank. In one case, she continued to withdraw cash for 10 months after the woman had died and took close to £60,000 before the account was suspended. She then stole a similar amount from a second customer in her 80s, after befriending her.
On Tuesday, she arrived at Southwark Crown Court with her husband and met with her legal team, but fled before her case was heard. Explaining her disappearance to the court, her lawyer, Richard Parry, said: "I think she clearly seems to have panicked."
He added: "She seemed to be, I thought, fairly stoical about the outcome. Her husband took a different view; he seemed to place too much reliance on the pre-sentence report."
Judge Anthony Pitts had issued a bench warrant for Dhanji's arrest and said: "It does seem like she has taken flight at first glance, I must confess from what you tell me."