Ipswich Market trader rents stolen by council employee

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    News Robot
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    Ipswich market manager admits stealing £33,000 in rent for pitches on Cornhill

    Kevin Walker, of Quantrill Terrace, Kesgrave, pleaded guilty to theft by employee from Ipswich Borough Council when he appeared before the town’s magistrates.

    The total amount of cash stolen by the 52-year-old between March 30, 2015, and February 19, 2016, was £33,376.59.

    Ian Persaud, representing Walker – who broke down in tears during the hearing – said: “The motivation for this has never been to deprive the council of its just rewards through the rent paid.

    “It was to help Mr Walker through difficult financial times and he always intended to repay the money.

    “It over-reached him and as you can see he’s bitterly sorry for what he did. He is very remorseful and wished he could turn the clock back.”

    Previously James Jackson, prosecuting, told the court Walker had been the supervisor at Ipswich Market on the town’s Cornhill between July 2013 and July 2016.

    Traders paid rent daily for the facilities. Walker was responsible for the general running of the market and the collection of rent for Ipswich Borough Council.

    Any cash collected should have been banked the same day or as soon as practicable at the Lloyds branch on the Cornhill.

    On May 12, 2015 Walker had collected a total of £1,413. Documentation was presented to staff as proof by Walker that it had been banked.

    However, the amount did not appear to be received, although the council was reimbursed.

    A further investigation revealed more amounts of money were missing.

    A number of original banking documents completed by the defendant relating missing cash transactions were found at a council-owned store. A majority were found in a locked filing cabinet.

    In total the amount lost by the council came to £14,314.50, as more than £19,000 was made in delayed payments.

    When interviewed Walker said: “It seems like I’m bang to rights anyway.”

    He added he was in financial difficulties and was scared as he had borrowed money from a man who wanted it back.

    Walker was sent to crown court for sentencing on a date to be fixed.

    Feel free to comment on IPSWI.

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    This shows David Ellesmere’s Ipswich Borough Council’s incompetence of the Ipswich Market.

    How could this money really go missing for such a period without being discovered? I am just wondering whether or not the council took legal action over market stall holders to get their “overdue unpaid rent”. I find it difficult that after 3 months someone senior to the market supervisor/manager would have noticed a lack of income despite physically able to see the number of stalls…

    £19,000 was hidden away and just over £14,000 was stolen.

    The monies are small in the grand scheme of things but it is concerning how the council didn’t pick up on it sooner… infamous for being OTT regarding health and safety and other contractual details… they seem to not notice an average of £1000 disappearing each month for almost a year! Why does no one audit the performance of the Ipswich Market? The council’s finance department must strictly keep tabs on each and every account and I think realistically speaking such abuse should have been discovered after a period of 3 months.

    It is the age-old problem of trusting someone far too much that they feel able to abuse the trust. It would be reasonable to trust the manager with the monies and not get a G4s armoured vehicle to collect it and deposit it at the bank a few metres away (!) but for someone periodically to hold him accountable by ensuring he is doing his job properly and banking all monies. You cannot turn that off over past-experience of trustworthiness. I also noticed Ipswich Star rounded up the amount to “almost £34,000“… surely you round 376 down to the nearest thousand and not up! Half wouldn’t have been so bad.

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