Joanna Sharp started working for Alconbury Parish Council (Cambridgeshire) in October 2009, had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to committing fraud by abuse of position as parish clerk by taking money without authorisation and producing false financial documentation.

The fraud came to light in May last year when Lloyds bank contacted the parish council chairman to query a cheque which appeared to have her signature on it. The chairman realised that they had not signed the cheques and they must be fraudulent.

Sharp admitted she had stolen £10,000 and asked that the matter not be reported to police because she fully intended to repay what had been taken. However when examined, the paperwork appeared to show more money had been taken and financial documents had been tampered with to cover it up.

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