A COUNCILLOR has said it may be time to show some compassion to a clerk who took money from the public purse.

Lynne Turner, 51, from Tancred Road, High Wycombe was found guilty of fraud in January last year and was sentenced to nine months in prison.

She siphoned £28,200 from Hughenden Parish Council bank account over a nine month period before she left in May 2011.

The law courts ordered her to pay back £12,387.89, but there is still £3, 692.75 left to pay and it has now been taken to Oxford Magistrates Court.

Meanwhile the parish council has started civil proceedings to claim compensation for the remaining money which was taken.

At the monthly council meeting on Tuesday the clerk said a letter has been drafted for Mrs Turner, which said if she settles quickly they will only ask for interest from the date of her conviction and not from when she stole the money.

They also have the option into looking at whether to see if the courts can make a bankruptcy order against her if she fails to pay her debts.

Cllr Ian Guy said: "From other information we have it seems she is in negative equity at the moment. She has half a share in her house.

"If we could somehow turn her out of her house we would have to turn her husband out.

"He has not done anything, as far as we know. I think we should think whether to show a bit of compassion.

"She has done her penance, so to speak. Does she need her money more than we do?"

Cllr Brian Swain asked to discuss some information he has regarding this in confidential sessions, which was agreed.

Cllr Rick Gould said: "In actual fact we have not had a result from the courts on the other amount.

"I think whatever we do next, we should wait for that. If the court allows her not to pay back more money then I strongly believe we should carry on with the letter."