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Former councillor jailed for stealing £155,000 from Newbury employers

Service engineer emptied coins from washing machines

Dan Cooper

Dan Cooper


01635 886632

Former councillor admits stealing £140,000 from Newbury employer

A FORMER Tory councillor has been jailed for three years for swindling his Newbury employers out of £155,000.

Jonathan Woodley-Shead stole coins from launderette machines he serviced as an engineer while working for Armstrong Commercial Laundry Systems.

Reading Crown Court heard today(Wednesday) how Woodley-Shead used a company key to empty £1 and 20p coins from the coin boxes of washing machines and tumble dryers at 23 different locations around the south of England between 2011 and 2015.

The 52-year-old planned his work week to trawl his employer’s machines at student halls and army barracks, pocketing an average of £4,000 in cash every month.

Sarita Basra, prosecuting, said: “The defendant now accepts stealing £155,000 from his former employers Armstrong Commercial Laundry Systems over 44 months from December 2011 to July 2015.

“That was an average steal of just under £4,000 a month. His duties were to visit and repair and install machines and the service engineers did not have keys or permission to access the cash boxes located on the machines.”

Woodley-Shead had worked for the company since 2008. He was promoted, before a position of field supervisor was created for him.

His managers became suspicious after he was spotted at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire when there hadn’t been a service call.

The former South Oxfordshire District councillor, who represented Sandford and the Wittenhams ward, was elected last year.

He stepped down just two months later on July 29.

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