Newbury News Ltd. Print-Digital-Social

Newbury employee ordered to repay more than £180,000 to his swindled employer

Former Oxfordshire councillor faces further imprisonment if he cannot pay

John Herring

John Herring


01635 886633

Former councillor admits stealing £140,000 from Newbury employer

A Man who stole from his Newbury employer has been ordered to pay back more than £180,000 to the swindled business.

Jonathan Woodley-Shead worked as a service engineer for Armstrong Commercial Laundry Systems, based in the London Road Industrial Estate.

However, Reading Crown Court heard how the former Conservative councillor for South Oxfordshire District Council abused his employer's trust to steal coins from washing machines and dryers. 

It was later stated that Woodley-Shead had benefited from his criminality by £223,659.65 in the six years prior to November 2015.

The 52-year-old, was sentenced to three years' imprisonment in February after he pleaded guilty to one count of theft at Reading Crown Court in December.

Now, following Proceeds of Crime Act confiscation proceedings, a confiscation order means that he has to repay £183,183.88.

Woodley-Shead, of The Glebe, Culham, has three months to repay the money or face a further 30 months' imprisonment - and still have to pay.

Thames Valley Police accredited financial investigator Marcus Webb said: "The early referral by the officer in the case to our asset recovery team enabled us to restrain property controlled by the defendant under the Proceeds of Crime Act. This ensured the property stayed intact before confiscation proceedings were completed.

"In this case, the court instructed that monies from the confiscation order should wholly be used to pay compensation to the defendant's former employer, which was defrauded of a significant sum of money."

Reading Crown Court heard 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.

Woodley-Shead 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.

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

Woodley-Shead claimed that he only stole £140,000, with the remaining £35,000 coming from other sources.

But the prosecution said the Crown did not accept the plea and labelled the £175,000 figure an underestimate.

Woodley-Shead was elected to South Oxfordshire District Council in May 2015 but stood down two months later. 

Leave your comment

Share your opinions on Newbury Weekly News

Characters left: 1000