Ex-Mayor will be asked to return stolen £220

Coun Andrew Williams leaving Leeds Crown Court in August after being sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid work and a 12-month supervision order for the fraud he committed at Ripon's Queen Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012.
Coun Andrew Williams leaving Leeds Crown Court in August after being sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid work and a 12-month supervision order for the fraud he committed at Ripon's Queen Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012.

Ripon City Council will seek to recover from Coun Andrew Williams the £220 he stole during the city’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012.

At a council meeting on Monday, Coun Alan Skidmore proposed that the council seeked restitution for the money that was “rightfully theirs”.

After seeking legal advice on the matter, Coun Skidmore proposed that Coun Williams should be approached to recover the £220.

Coun Williams was found guilty in June of pocketing the £220 given to him by an ice cream seller – money owed to the council as its share of sales commission at the celebration.

During the trial at York Crown Court, the jury heard during police enquiries into the matter, in April 2013, an anonymously sent envelope was received at the town hall containing £220 in £10 notes.

Coun Skidmore said: “In and during the course of events, an envelope was sent to the clerk containing £220 in bank notes. Madame Clerk, as was her duty, passed that on to the police. They investigated it and held it as evidence for the Crown Prosecution Service.

“It is then held in an eskrow account because it is not known who owns it, nor is anyone coming forward to admit to sending that money.”

Coun Skidmore said he believed the £220 sent anonymously to the council should be passed on to charity, and he proposed the person “responsible for the money not being in the council’s account” should be approached legally for restitution.

The proposal was passed by the council with seven voting in favour of the motion, one against, and a further four councillors – including Coun Williams – abstaining from the vote.

At the same meeting, the council also discussed the possibility of adding an additional order to their standing orders forcing councillors to declare to the Mayor and Town Clerk if they have been arrested on suspicion of a criminal offence.

Concerns were raised over how wide the proposal would reach but Coun Skidmore confirmed that road traffic offences would not have to be declared to the council as they are not criminal offences.

The council agreed to seek legal opinion on the matter before considering it again, with Coun Skidmore saying it was “a great shame” the merits of the proposal had to be debated.