A town hall cashier who stole more than £500,000 in car-parking fees to fund her obsession with Elvis Presley has been jailed for three years. Julie Wall, 46, took up to £10,000 a month for nearly a decade at North Kesteven District Council to spend on records, Lincoln Crown Court heard.
Officials only realised the theft when an audit was carried out. Wall, of Rippon Drive, Sleaford, whose job was counting coins from cashboxes at car parks, admitted theft. Council bosses had regarded her as a "mild and modest" employee, the court was told. But she used the cash to buy hundreds of CDs, DVDs, videos and signed mementoes during visits to record fairs, auctions and internet sites.
The court was told she got away with her "extraordinary" crimes because the council never carried out any checks, until an audit was carried out earlier this year. Wall, a council employee for 30 years, repeatedly held back hundreds of pounds from each box and then exchanged the coins for notes used in other council transactions. Sam Robinson, prosecuting, said that between January 1996 and July this year she was estimated to have stolen more than £557,000. Luke Blackburn, mitigating, told the court Wall had been in the grip of "an exceptional habit" and was now ashamed of herself. Det Con Graeme Baker, of the Lincolnshire Police Financial Investigation Unit, said that when Wall was arrested officers seized thousands of Elvis related items from her home.
A spokesman for North Kesteven District Council said Miss Wall had been dismissed and that "steps were being taken" to recover money she had pocketed. A confiscation and compensation hearing has been scheduled for next year when the collection is expected to be auctioned off to raise the cash taken from the council. Det Con Baker said: "The collection could potentially raise in excess of half a million if it was sold off."
Source: BBC / Updated: Oct 20, 2005