In these days of fat-cat bankers and recession it was some-what amusing to read this story in the newspapers. I am sure our Lincoln Green hero would have laughed merrily to hear of his modern day German re-incarnation.
Mrs. Schmidt, 62, allegedly stole more than £1 million from her bank in Bonn because she "couldn't bear to see my less-fortunate customers go hungry," said her lawyer, Thomas Ohm.
"She did it out of compassion for people and now she is as poor as a church mouse herself," he said.
Mrs Schmidt worked for decades at a savings bank in the Rhineland city, rising from counter clerk to manageress. The fraud indictment against her says she began robbing from the rich to give to the poor in 2003.
Prosecutors say she interviewed all the people who she gave money to, checking that they were "needy cases", and insisted that they pay back the cash when they were on their feet.
In one year she handed out nearly £7 million - but only £6.5 million was paid back. All the cash for the poor was taken from the accounts of wealthy people.
By the time some of her customers noted that their deposits were not adding up the bank was short of £1.1 million.
Her house was seized and the court in Bonn was told the employee took no money for herself but was accused of allowing overdrafts for customers who would not normally qualify for them. She then used the money from richer customers to temporarily disguise the loans during the bank's monthly audit of overdrafts.
Mrs Schmidt has begun reimbursing the bank for the losses, reportedly from a small retirement pension. She could have faced a four-year prison sentence, but the German court decided on leniency. They noted that the employee did not take any money for herself, had confessed immediately, had lost her job and had started to pay the money back. It therefore gave her a 22-month suspended prison sentence.
I wonder if she is any good with a bow and arrow?