Oxfordshire woman jailed for stealing more than £161,000 from parish councils

Joanne Wills, 47, was handed a four-year sentence at Oxford Crown Court on 30 June. Credit: Thames Valley Police

An Oxfordshire woman has been jailed for stealing more than £161,000 from parish councils.

Joanne Wills, 47, of Crowell Hill, Chinnor, worked at Towersey Parish Council and Chinnor Parish Council.

While there, she transferred money to her own accounts from both parish councils.

She created and filed fake invoices to cover them up and created fraudulent meeting minutes.

In total, more than £161,000 was stolen by Wills between 2009 and 2021.

She was sentenced to four years in prison at Oxford Crown Court on 30 June.

She had previously pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud by false representation.

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Nicola Clark, of Abingdon CID, said: “This has been a long and complex investigation involving a large quantity of public money which has been fraudulently taken by Joanne Wills from two parish councils.

“Joanne was employed by both Chinnor Parish Council and Towersey Parish Council to safeguard their financial interests and protect their assets; and not to act against those interests for her own personal gain, yet she has done the complete opposite.

“A custodial sentence is a good result, particularly due to the financial deficit that she has left the parish councils in because of her own greed.”