Ex-parish clerk Lynne Turner jailed for £28k council fraud

Ex-parish clerk jailed for £28k council fraud

Ex-parish clerk jailed for £28k council fraud

First published in News
Last updated
Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

FORMER Hughenden Parish Council clerk Lynne Turner has been jailed for nine months for transferring £28,200 of public money into her personal account.

The 50-year-old of Tancred Road, High Wycombe, was found guilty of ten counts of fraud by abuse of position last month.

She was sentenced to nine months behind bars for each count – to run concurrently – at Oxford Crown Court today.

The charges relate to her time as clerk of the parish council, where she moved £28,200 from the council's bank account to her own between August 2010 and May 2011 in 31 different transactions.

His Honour Judge Pringle QC said she had abused the trust of the parish council and the residents in the parish and he had no other option but to serve her a jail sentence.

He said: "You expect people, particularly those who are serving the community when placed in a position of trust, to honour the trust that people place in them and to behave with propriety and you sorely failed to do so."

Prosecution Jerome Silva explained how the current clerk, Charlotte Watts, noticed the discrepancies in the accounts when she started at the council after Turner resigned.

Defence Dejan Mladenovic said Turner had previous good character.

He said a psychiatric report showed she had adjustment disorder where she behaves in a way that is inextricably linked to her inability to acknowledge any wrongful acts.

He said: "It is part and parcel of the reason why she had difficulties accepting her criminality in the first place."

He added: "Mrs Turner does intend and does want to repay all of the mony she took and defrauded the parish council of.

"I am told by her she would be in a position to begin making these repayments within the next six to seven months."

He said the case has caused stress to herself and her family and she deeply regrets her actions.

In his summing up his His Honour Judge Pringle QC said: "You are 50 years of age. You have no previous convictions of any sort and until 2010 you, Mrs Turner, worked hard, it seems all your life.

"You brought up your family in what, I suspect, was a commendable way.

"In 2010 you had been working for Hughenden Parish Council for 16 years as the clerk to the parish council finances.

"Many of the parish council in the time you served there got to know you well and you were completely trusted by them.

"It would, it seems, be the case that you were continued to be trusted by them up until and during the course of your trial because you called two of them as character witnesses.

"The plain fact of the matter is that you, Mrs Turner, abused that trust- the trust that had been placed in you by the parish council and all the residents of that parish.

"In August 2010, no doubt because of financial pressures you had got yourself into, you began to divert funds from the parish accounts into your own personal account.

"You started slowly. £300 was the first amount, then another £300 and after a month or so you obviously became confident and sums of £1,000- sometimes on consecutive days- were placed in your own bank account.

"The total amount came to just over £30,000.

"You expect people, particularly those who are serving the community when placed in a position of trust to honour the trust that people place in them, to behave with propriety and you sorely failed to do so."

Comments (24)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

1:18pm Fri 15 Feb 13

sparky49 says...

Another bent politician and a tory to boot.
Another bent politician and a tory to boot. sparky49
  • Score: 1

1:37pm Fri 15 Feb 13

Jay-Tee says...

Unless you know her personally or were present at the court hearing, I dont believe you have any right to call her a 'bent politician'?
Unless you know her personally or were present at the court hearing, I dont believe you have any right to call her a 'bent politician'? Jay-Tee
  • Score: 5

1:44pm Fri 15 Feb 13

JACK-Wooburn says...

Is she going to pay every penny back as I do not see it mentioned that she has to.
Is she going to pay every penny back as I do not see it mentioned that she has to. JACK-Wooburn
  • Score: 7

1:53pm Fri 15 Feb 13

Swains says...

Maybe Lynne Turner will have time to think about other things she did while she was Hughenden's Parish Clerk, including how insensitive she was over the ornamentation and planting of the graves in the parish and the effect it had on the grieving loved ones once they were made bare and uniform. I sincerely hope that her cost cutting scheme was not part of her ability to free up money to line her own pocket.
Maybe Lynne Turner will have time to think about other things she did while she was Hughenden's Parish Clerk, including how insensitive she was over the ornamentation and planting of the graves in the parish and the effect it had on the grieving loved ones once they were made bare and uniform. I sincerely hope that her cost cutting scheme was not part of her ability to free up money to line her own pocket. Swains
  • Score: 9

1:55pm Fri 15 Feb 13

spudlum says...

Sparky, I'm her brother and she's a normal housewife and mother who made a stupid mistake which she is paying for. Try to be more informed before jumping to conclusions on somethinng you obviously know nothing about.
Sparky, I'm her brother and she's a normal housewife and mother who made a stupid mistake which she is paying for. Try to be more informed before jumping to conclusions on somethinng you obviously know nothing about. spudlum
  • Score: -1

2:03pm Fri 15 Feb 13

BOOKERite says...

sparky49 wrote:
Another bent politician and a tory to boot.
Is a Parish Clerk a politician?
[quote][p][bold]sparky49[/bold] wrote: Another bent politician and a tory to boot.[/p][/quote]Is a Parish Clerk a politician? BOOKERite
  • Score: 3

2:06pm Fri 15 Feb 13

Sparkles26 says...

" normal housewife"?!! what's normal about ripping people off! Hope she has time to reflect on how a "normal housewife and mother should behave
" normal housewife"?!! what's normal about ripping people off! Hope she has time to reflect on how a "normal housewife and mother should behave Sparkles26
  • Score: 14

2:10pm Fri 15 Feb 13

Marmite XO says...

I don't see why she didn't just pay it back straight away and avoid all the costs and time of going to court.

For that reason I'd have sentenced her for longer.
I don't see why she didn't just pay it back straight away and avoid all the costs and time of going to court. For that reason I'd have sentenced her for longer. Marmite XO
  • Score: 4

2:43pm Fri 15 Feb 13

buser says...

Marmite XO wrote:
I don't see why she didn't just pay it back straight away and avoid all the costs and time of going to court.

For that reason I'd have sentenced her for longer.
Perhaps because she couldn't put her
hands on the odd £30,000? From the original text, she stole the money because she was in debt.
[quote][p][bold]Marmite XO[/bold] wrote: I don't see why she didn't just pay it back straight away and avoid all the costs and time of going to court. For that reason I'd have sentenced her for longer.[/p][/quote]Perhaps because she couldn't put her hands on the odd £30,000? From the original text, she stole the money because she was in debt. buser
  • Score: 0

2:49pm Fri 15 Feb 13

Marmite XO says...

buser wrote:
Marmite XO wrote:
I don't see why she didn't just pay it back straight away and avoid all the costs and time of going to court.

For that reason I'd have sentenced her for longer.
Perhaps because she couldn't put her
hands on the odd £30,000? From the original text, she stole the money because she was in debt.
Oh come on, who can't get their hands on 30k in an emergency.
[quote][p][bold]buser[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Marmite XO[/bold] wrote: I don't see why she didn't just pay it back straight away and avoid all the costs and time of going to court. For that reason I'd have sentenced her for longer.[/p][/quote]Perhaps because she couldn't put her hands on the odd £30,000? From the original text, she stole the money because she was in debt.[/p][/quote]Oh come on, who can't get their hands on 30k in an emergency. Marmite XO
  • Score: -2

3:13pm Fri 15 Feb 13

Jay-Tee says...

Sparkles26 wrote:
" normal housewife"?!! what's normal about ripping people off! Hope she has time to reflect on how a "normal housewife and mother should behave
She knows perfectly well how a housewife and a mother should behave, having done a fantastic job at both.. again you shouldnt just believe everything you read on the internet, and to further on what spudlum has said gain correct information before jumping to conclusions on a matter that neither concerns you directly or personally and that you know nothing about.
[quote][p][bold]Sparkles26[/bold] wrote: " normal housewife"?!! what's normal about ripping people off! Hope she has time to reflect on how a "normal housewife and mother should behave[/p][/quote]She knows perfectly well how a housewife and a mother should behave, having done a fantastic job at both.. again you shouldnt just believe everything you read on the internet, and to further on what spudlum has said gain correct information before jumping to conclusions on a matter that neither concerns you directly or personally and that you know nothing about. Jay-Tee
  • Score: -8

4:06pm Fri 15 Feb 13

sparky49 says...

Jay-Tee wrote:
Unless you know her personally or were present at the court hearing, I dont believe you have any right to call her a 'bent politician'?
Hello
A convicted thief, who broke the parish councils trust and stole money.
How is that not bent?
[quote][p][bold]Jay-Tee[/bold] wrote: Unless you know her personally or were present at the court hearing, I dont believe you have any right to call her a 'bent politician'?[/p][/quote]Hello A convicted thief, who broke the parish councils trust and stole money. How is that not bent? sparky49
  • Score: 10

4:09pm Fri 15 Feb 13

sparky49 says...

Jay-Tee wrote:
Sparkles26 wrote:
" normal housewife"?!! what's normal about ripping people off! Hope she has time to reflect on how a "normal housewife and mother should behave
She knows perfectly well how a housewife and a mother should behave, having done a fantastic job at both.. again you shouldnt just believe everything you read on the internet, and to further on what spudlum has said gain correct information before jumping to conclusions on a matter that neither concerns you directly or personally and that you know nothing about.
You seem well informed and upset about comments, then tell us what we don't know or accept that people will draw their own conclusions.
As it has been said before a convicted thief who broke trust and stole money.
[quote][p][bold]Jay-Tee[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Sparkles26[/bold] wrote: " normal housewife"?!! what's normal about ripping people off! Hope she has time to reflect on how a "normal housewife and mother should behave[/p][/quote]She knows perfectly well how a housewife and a mother should behave, having done a fantastic job at both.. again you shouldnt just believe everything you read on the internet, and to further on what spudlum has said gain correct information before jumping to conclusions on a matter that neither concerns you directly or personally and that you know nothing about.[/p][/quote]You seem well informed and upset about comments, then tell us what we don't know or accept that people will draw their own conclusions. As it has been said before a convicted thief who broke trust and stole money. sparky49
  • Score: 10

4:45pm Fri 15 Feb 13

Minority Report says...

This woman stole public money from the1000's of good, honest, yes honest, hardworking families of Hughenden Parish. There is nothing normal in this woman's behaviour. The situation is made worst by the fact that the money went into a joint account she held with her husband, Tory district Councilor and WDC spokesman for Finance, who's remit is that of advising WDC of financial matters including Audit & Fraud! Could he have profited from the 'benefits of crime'? if so he should resign immediately and put his professional accounting acumen to use and help the ex-clerk pay back the money stolen. The courts psychiatric report showed she, Lynne Turner had an adjustment disorder where she behaves in a way that is inextricably linked to her inability to acknowledge any wrongful acts. This begs the question how many others wrongful acts has she committed and got away with without remorse?
This woman stole public money from the1000's of good, honest, yes honest, hardworking families of Hughenden Parish. There is nothing normal in this woman's behaviour. The situation is made worst by the fact that the money went into a joint account she held with her husband, Tory district Councilor and WDC spokesman for Finance, who's remit is that of advising WDC of financial matters including Audit & Fraud! Could he have profited from the 'benefits of crime'? if so he should resign immediately and put his professional accounting acumen to use and help the ex-clerk pay back the money stolen. The courts psychiatric report showed she, Lynne Turner had an adjustment disorder where she behaves in a way that is inextricably linked to her inability to acknowledge any wrongful acts. This begs the question how many others wrongful acts has she committed and got away with without remorse? Minority Report
  • Score: 23

5:07pm Fri 15 Feb 13

Swains says...

See my previous comment to find out about one of them!
See my previous comment to find out about one of them! Swains
  • Score: 3

5:08pm Fri 15 Feb 13

N17YIDDOS says...

As residents of Great Kingshill we had dealings with the old HPC and Lynne Turner. We found them to be like a 'gang' of unprofessional people who only represented their own views - no concern for the residents view. In fact, the more you challenged them the more they wanted to fight you.
I am so glad that Lynne Turner has been found to be someone who abused her position - she did this in general regarding her dealings with residents - she was only a clerk after all. The previous HPC who backed her up should be ashamed that all this happened on their watch and this shows how poor they were as a public body.
As residents of Great Kingshill we had dealings with the old HPC and Lynne Turner. We found them to be like a 'gang' of unprofessional people who only represented their own views - no concern for the residents view. In fact, the more you challenged them the more they wanted to fight you. I am so glad that Lynne Turner has been found to be someone who abused her position - she did this in general regarding her dealings with residents - she was only a clerk after all. The previous HPC who backed her up should be ashamed that all this happened on their watch and this shows how poor they were as a public body. N17YIDDOS
  • Score: 18

5:11pm Fri 15 Feb 13

buser says...

Marmite XO wrote:
buser wrote:
Marmite XO wrote:
I don't see why she didn't just pay it back straight away and avoid all the costs and time of going to court.

For that reason I'd have sentenced her for longer.
Perhaps because she couldn't put her
hands on the odd £30,000? From the original text, she stole the money because she was in debt.
Oh come on, who can't get their hands on 30k in an emergency.
Sadly, I understand, quite a few. I personally know someone who owes that sort of amount to HMCE and they certainly aren't a one off. If you have no credit rating and no one is prepared to bail you out, short of 'misappropriating' the money, the choices seem limited.
[quote][p][bold]Marmite XO[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]buser[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Marmite XO[/bold] wrote: I don't see why she didn't just pay it back straight away and avoid all the costs and time of going to court. For that reason I'd have sentenced her for longer.[/p][/quote]Perhaps because she couldn't put her hands on the odd £30,000? From the original text, she stole the money because she was in debt.[/p][/quote]Oh come on, who can't get their hands on 30k in an emergency.[/p][/quote]Sadly, I understand, quite a few. I personally know someone who owes that sort of amount to HMCE and they certainly aren't a one off. If you have no credit rating and no one is prepared to bail you out, short of 'misappropriating' the money, the choices seem limited. buser
  • Score: 1

5:51pm Fri 15 Feb 13

Swains says...

There are plenty of charities including Citizens Advice who help to resolve financial problems and can help with letters to those you owe money to. Very few people resort to steeling money. Imagine if they did what damage would be caused to business. A person in the position of Parish Clerk should have more intelligence and better knowledge of these facts.
There are plenty of charities including Citizens Advice who help to resolve financial problems and can help with letters to those you owe money to. Very few people resort to steeling money. Imagine if they did what damage would be caused to business. A person in the position of Parish Clerk should have more intelligence and better knowledge of these facts. Swains
  • Score: 6

6:12pm Fri 15 Feb 13

buser says...

buser wrote:
Marmite XO wrote:
buser wrote:
Marmite XO wrote:
I don't see why she didn't just pay it back straight away and avoid all the costs and time of going to court.

For that reason I'd have sentenced her for longer.
Perhaps because she couldn't put her
hands on the odd £30,000? From the original text, she stole the money because she was in debt.
Oh come on, who can't get their hands on 30k in an emergency.
Sadly, I understand, quite a few. I personally know someone who owes that sort of amount to HMCE and they certainly aren't a one off. If you have no credit rating and no one is prepared to bail you out, short of 'misappropriating' the money, the choices seem limited.
I wasn't suggesting that everybody owing this sort of money resorted to stealing. I was saying raising £30,000 was not always easy or possible. The case I quoted face a 2nd bankruptcy and losing their home. Sometimes the money involved in the proceedings is literally the tip of the iceberg and a lot more money is owed elsewhere. There is help out there and the letters can be helpful but just getting £30,000 with zero credit rating isn't a question of just asking. For me, there is no excuse for theft.
[quote][p][bold]buser[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Marmite XO[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]buser[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Marmite XO[/bold] wrote: I don't see why she didn't just pay it back straight away and avoid all the costs and time of going to court. For that reason I'd have sentenced her for longer.[/p][/quote]Perhaps because she couldn't put her hands on the odd £30,000? From the original text, she stole the money because she was in debt.[/p][/quote]Oh come on, who can't get their hands on 30k in an emergency.[/p][/quote]Sadly, I understand, quite a few. I personally know someone who owes that sort of amount to HMCE and they certainly aren't a one off. If you have no credit rating and no one is prepared to bail you out, short of 'misappropriating' the money, the choices seem limited.[/p][/quote]I wasn't suggesting that everybody owing this sort of money resorted to stealing. I was saying raising £30,000 was not always easy or possible. The case I quoted face a 2nd bankruptcy and losing their home. Sometimes the money involved in the proceedings is literally the tip of the iceberg and a lot more money is owed elsewhere. There is help out there and the letters can be helpful but just getting £30,000 with zero credit rating isn't a question of just asking. For me, there is no excuse for theft. buser
  • Score: 2

6:21pm Fri 15 Feb 13

Minority Report says...

The 'old guard' Councillors of HPC, failed in their public duty, let us all hope they do not have any more influence over any local policy at any level. The District and County councilor's who regularly attended the parish meetings should be ashamed of themselves also. What were they thinking allowing this lower level of local government to run a mock. Why wasn't this appalling behaviour prevented. Who was the Chairman Mickey Mouse? Why and how did the chairman fail so badly and not protect the public purse. Were there no safe guards in place to prevent fraud.
The 'old guard' Councillors of HPC, failed in their public duty, let us all hope they do not have any more influence over any local policy at any level. The District and County councilor's who regularly attended the parish meetings should be ashamed of themselves also. What were they thinking allowing this lower level of local government to run a mock. Why wasn't this appalling behaviour prevented. Who was the Chairman Mickey Mouse? Why and how did the chairman fail so badly and not protect the public purse. Were there no safe guards in place to prevent fraud. Minority Report
  • Score: 12

7:16pm Fri 15 Feb 13

Minority Report says...

Thank you BFP for letting us know what has been going on in our name, and Cllr Konieczny, thank you for opening our eyes. Those responsible for the culture of secrecy that allowed the Parish Clerk to have so much power are a £28,200 disappointment.
Thank you BFP for letting us know what has been going on in our name, and Cllr Konieczny, thank you for opening our eyes. Those responsible for the culture of secrecy that allowed the Parish Clerk to have so much power are a £28,200 disappointment. Minority Report
  • Score: 8

7:16pm Fri 15 Feb 13

NobodyParticular says...

Sorry not to do with the above argument but would like a little clarity: It says she has been sentenced to 9 months but then later says "She was sentenced to nine months behind bars for each count – to run concurrently – at Oxford Crown Court today." As she was found guilty of 10 counts does that mean she's been sentenced to 90 months?
Sorry not to do with the above argument but would like a little clarity: It says she has been sentenced to 9 months but then later says "She was sentenced to nine months behind bars for each count – to run concurrently – at Oxford Crown Court today." As she was found guilty of 10 counts does that mean she's been sentenced to 90 months? NobodyParticular
  • Score: 0

9:48pm Fri 15 Feb 13

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

This is a bit off subject too but in the US - Texas anyway - they have sentences like 3 lots of life without parole, or sentences of 3 lots of life without parole consecutively, followed by 99 years without parole.
This is a bit off subject too but in the US - Texas anyway - they have sentences like 3 lots of life without parole, or sentences of 3 lots of life without parole consecutively, followed by 99 years without parole. ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 0

11:32pm Fri 15 Feb 13

Stand up for England says...

NobodyParticular wrote:
Sorry not to do with the above argument but would like a little clarity: It says she has been sentenced to 9 months but then later says "She was sentenced to nine months behind bars for each count – to run concurrently – at Oxford Crown Court today." As she was found guilty of 10 counts does that mean she's been sentenced to 90 months?
No, it means all will be served at the same time. She will be in prison for 9 months and all sentences deemed to have been served. A joke in the system !!... but I'll bet she doesn't serve anything like 9 months !!
[quote][p][bold]NobodyParticular[/bold] wrote: Sorry not to do with the above argument but would like a little clarity: It says she has been sentenced to 9 months but then later says "She was sentenced to nine months behind bars for each count – to run concurrently – at Oxford Crown Court today." As she was found guilty of 10 counts does that mean she's been sentenced to 90 months?[/p][/quote]No, it means all will be served at the same time. She will be in prison for 9 months and all sentences deemed to have been served. A joke in the system !!... but I'll bet she doesn't serve anything like 9 months !! Stand up for England
  • Score: 6

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree