Manager stole and defrauded council of £230,000

David Archer Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption David Archer, 56, has been jailed for three years

A former employee of Chelmsford City Council has been jailed for three years after stealing and defrauding the authority out of £230,000.

David Archer, 56, of Cheviot Drive in Chelmsford, Essex, admitted the offences at a hearing last week.

The former play services manager joined the council in 1989 and resigned in 2010 when an investigation began into the allegations.

He was arrested in 2011 and charged a year later.

'Extremely serious'

The court heard that some of the money he stole came direct from the council and some he filtered through an external company which he claimed had worked on behalf of the authority.

The council is now seeking to recover the money from Archer to minimise the loss to the public purse.

Senior investigating officer Det Con Insp Paul Maleary said: "We are satisfied with the outcome of the investigation and subsequent sentencing. It is quite right that the term of imprisonment reflects the crime.

"Stealing monies from the public purse is extremely serious and is compounded by austerity measures affecting all public sector departments. This case is an extreme breach of trust that cannot be tolerated."

Archer admitted one count of theft and another of fraud during his trial at the same court the previous week.

A further charge of failing to disclose information was ordered to lie on file.

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