A ``Robin Hood`` banker who stole $340,000 (£214,000) and apparently gave it all away to needy customers has been sentenced to a year and a day in jail, according to Telegraph.co.uk.

Patricia Keezer, 53, embezzled cash over an eight-year period while managing a bank branch near Detroit, giving customers $2,000 (£1,257) at a time for car repairs, mortgage payments and other such concerns.

In court, district judge Marianne Battani imposed a more lenient sentence than prosecutors wanted, stating that the thief was ``like a modern day Robin Hood``. But she added that the days of stealing from the rich to give to the poor were ``long over``.

Keezer`s crime spree ended last year when the embezzlement was uncovered.

Authorities said she covered her tracks by falsifying records and covering stacks of one dollar bills with $100 notes during audits.

Prosecutors demanded a two-year sentence, claiming that the story of charitable thieving was ``implausible``.

But defence lawyer Raymond Cassar argued that there was no evidence that any cash had been spent on personal luxuries.

He said: ``She didn`t use it on herself. She didn`t bury it in the ground. She didn`t give it to her husband. She gave it away. It`s believable.``

Judge Battani rejected Keezer`s attorney`s request for a sentence of home confinement.

But she did impose the minimum sentence available for a convict to earn time off for good behaviour - a year and a day in jail.