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11 March 2014, 09:20
A Parish clerk who stole more than £56,000 to fund her gambling addiction has been jailed.
Joanna Sharp cashed and wrote herself cheques totalling £56,756 between April 1, 2010 and May 22, last year, while working for Alconbury Parish Council.
The 28-year-old would forge counter signatures and wrote letters purporting to be from the council to 'validate' the cheques.
The court heard Sharp had spent thousands on various gambling websites after the family had fallen on hard times. She had repaid some of the money.
Sharp, 28, previously of Alconbury, admitted fraud at Peterborough Crown Court and was jailed for 12 months on Thursday (March 6).
Detective Constable Dianne Booth said: "This was a huge breach of trust. The parish council is a small organisation which works in the interests of the residents living in the community.
"This case should serve as a warning of how seriously the police and courts take such offending."