A charity shop customer got more than she bargained for when she visited her local Mencap Society shop in Openshaw, Greater Manchester, to return a small item and get a refund.

£90000 refund instead of £9: Shop staff who dealt with the refund mistakenly put in two extra zero’s and four other figures, meaning that she received a refund of £90,000 for the £9 item.

Comfort Konadu, 52, realised their error and transferred £57,000 to two separate accounts including relatives that live in Ghana. Appearing at Manchester Crown Court Konadu, a cleaner, admitted theft and received 15 months in prison, suspended for two years.

The charity have since managed to retrieve two thirds of the money, however £31,000 is still missing. It is a huge loss for the charity and works out at 18 months worth of profit for the shop.

Kondadu is now expected to face a “proceeds of crime” hearing to get her to return the money. Judge Nicholas Dean QC, sentencing, said that she would of known it was an error on the part of the shop staff and rather than tell them she got greedy and decided to profit from the mistake.

She knew perfectly well that the money was not hers to spend he said. Konadu said in court that she was expecting £12,000 from another source and said that she thought that was the money, then she changed her story, saying that she realized it was an error and tried to contact her bank to sort it out.

Her bank said that no such discussion took place. Max Saffman, defending council for Konadu, said that she had lived modestly in the country for the past 15 years, earning money as a cleaner, and that the windfall was more than she ever thought she would have so temptation got the better of her.

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