Newcastle City Council supervisor ordered to pay back almost £100,000 he stole from employer

A Newcastle City Council supervisor who stole thousands of pounds of equipment to fund his drug addiction has been ordered to pay back the full amount.

Karl Ellison, who has worked at Newcastle City Council for over 25 years, stole almost £100,000 of equipment from his employer.

The court heard his role as a warehouse boss involved him ordering materials for internal departments - he ordered high-value items from suppliers, collected them himself and then sold them on and pocketed the proceeds.

In his latest hearing, at which he was not present, it was revealed he benefited to the tune of £98,940.

The 53-year-old, of Ilfracombe Gardens, Whitley Bay, has been ordered to pay back the full amount, £98,940, under the Proceeds of Crime Act. The court heard the money is already in the possession of prosecutors.

Judge Christopher Prince said: "Your offending demonstrated considerable determination, was a great breach of trust and occurred over a significant period of time.

"Councils desperately require the funds they have to put towards personal protective equipment and all the other uses the council can usefully use money for and it's a very significant amount of money you stole from Newcastle City Council."

Matthew Purves, defending, said he was buying and selling the items "almost to order".

"This was a consequence of his significant drug misuse and addiction," he told the court.

"He had spent a little less than 30 years working for the council and appeared to be a hard-working, trustworthy and loyal employee but along the way of his life he suffered a number of hardships and losses."

Mr Purves said Ellison, who fell into depression and anxiety after losing his parents, is remorseful and has taken steps to address his addiction.

Last September, Ellison was sentenced to 27 months at Newcastle Crown Court for fraud that occurred from January 2020 and March 2021.